EPIC To Congress: Require Algorithmic Transparency For Twitter, Dominant Internet Firms

In advance of a hearing on Twitter: Transparency and Accountability, EPIC has sent a statement to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. EPIC said that "algorithmic transparency" could help establish fairness, transparency, and accountability for much of what users see online. In a 2011 statement to the FTC during the investigation of Google, EPIC said that Google's acquisition of YouTube led to a skewing of search results after Google substituted its secret "relevance" ranking for the original objective ranking, based on hits and ratings. EPIC pointed out that it was then competing with the search giant for the rankings of "privacy" videos and that Google's algorithm preferences Google's web pages over EPIC's. The FTC took no action on EPIC's complaint. But last year the European Commission found that Google in fact rigged search results to give preference to its own shopping service. The Commission required Google to change its algorithm to rank its own shopping comparison the same way it ranks its competitors.


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