Luján Introduces Legislation to Increase Multilingual Content Moderation Enforcement and Transparency
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) led U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to introduce the Language-Inclusive Support and Transparency for Online Services (LISTOS) Act to improve multilingual large language models, automated decision-making systems, and content moderation practices online to better protect non-English speaking communities.
The LISTOS Act requires online platforms to consistently communicate and enforce their policies across languages and transparently report on the processes used to enforce policies. Critically, the bill also authorizes funding to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to research the prevalence and impact of online hate, abuse, and misleading or false information in languages other than English.
“Despite having a global user base that speaks multiple languages, tech platforms do not make adequate investments to protect families who speak Spanish and other non-English languages online,” said Senator Luján. “I’m proud to introduce the LISTOS Act to require platforms to provide more transparency of multilingual AI models and staff used to moderate content, and enforce their policies consistently across languages. This legislation also provides much-needed funding to research the negative impacts that follow when hate and disinformation is spread online, ensuring minority communities can safely use social media platforms – regardless of the language they speak at home.”
“The LISTOS ACT ensures inclusive access to AI and equitable online safety for non-English language communities who are currently underserved by major social media companies,” said Senator Padilla. “Investing in multilingual access to information and services will improve online communication and propel innovation while helping to bridge the gap between English and non-English speakers.”
“Big tech companies are failing millions of people by allowing scams, fraud and other slime to spread in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese, where the same posts in English would be filtered out. At the same time, tech companies are fueling crises abroad by refusing to invest adequate resources in their overseas offices,” said Senator Wyden.“Every community in Oregon and nationwide deserves the same protections from Big Tech as their English-speaking neighbors. I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bill, which would protect online communities, no matter what language they speak.”
“Social media companies have been tight-lipped about what they’re doing to stop fraud in languages other than English,” said FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya. “Too often, fraudsters prey on people for whom English is a second language, including a lot of older Americans. This bill will help protect everyone against fraud, no matter what language they speak at home.”
The House companion is led by U.S. Representatives T0ny Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and Darren Soto (D-FL). The bill is supported by FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya and is endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Equis Research, Free Press, National Hispanic Media Coalition, and Media Matters Action Network.
Full text of the bill is available HERE.