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US government should consider regulating news algorithms, says Twilio CEO

(Subscribe to CNBC Pro to watch the full interview with Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson.)

The U.S. government should consider regulating social media algorithms that govern “what we as consumers see and read every day,” Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said in an interview with CNBC.

Twilio is one of several major US technology companies that have taken action to remove content and applications that promote violence following last week̵

7;s US uprising. Lawson confirmed on Tuesday that Twilio had told the popular conservative social media app Parler that it was “in violation of our terms of use”, leading to the termination of Parler’s integration with Twilio.

“I think our heads of government should seek to understand the role of algorithmic systems in managing what we as consumers see and read every day, because I think this is unexplored territory for how technology affects people down to social level “. Lawson told CNBC “View from the top.”

“Civil servants should strive to understand how algorithms work and what they are optimized for and what is the social impact of this? Because this is the biggest look you see today in some of the technologies that society has not figured out what to do. with him. And I think the impact of it is quite wide. “

Amazon Web Services, Zendesk and Okta have joined Twilio in withdrawing its services from Parler in recent days. The last few days have seen a significant shift in technology companies to eliminate speech that sees through violence, including a permanent ban on Twitter by US President Donald Trump. However, future government intervention, congressional regulations or potential laws on how to police hate speech and misinformation will have to be ironed out in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, which begins next week.

Lawson publicly supported Biden and made donations to his presidential campaign to defeat Donald Trump. He said CNBC Biden’s attention to science and politics, and apart from tribalism, would be a welcome change for the United States.

Lawson rejected the idea that some technology companies would start benefiting from policy-based customers.

“What we’re talking about here is hate speech and death threats,” Lawson told CNBC Squawk Box. “This is not a normal public speech we are used to in our society. These are extreme things. What we are trying to say is that most of the people who have participated in the coast speak hate speech. and assassinations and the overthrow of governments is not allowed. I am almost certain that most rational people would agree that this type of content, most of which is illegal, should not be part of the mass service. “

Subscribe to CNBC Pro to read full questions and answers with Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson:

Jeff Lawson

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson explains why software developers are misunderstood and underused, defending the company’s value growth in 2020.

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