How do websites like Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter determine topics that are supposedly relevant to you? Presumably, this is based on how you use their websites, where based on your searches, history, browsing habits, and so on, it will surface information that it thinks is most suitable for you.

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However, there have been times when such platforms have been accused of being biased, whether it be in terms of politics or towards a company’s own products, which is why Republican politicians are asking the FTC to launch an investigation into how companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter curate their content.

According to Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, they claim that these websites have a huge influence and as such, have the potential to abuse their power to both amplify and downplay content, with the possibility of even swaying elections.

In their letter, the Senators write, “Companies that are this big and that have the potential to threaten democracy this much should not be allowed to curate content entirely without any transparency. These companies can greatly influence democratic outcomes, yet they have no accountability to voters. They are not even accountable to their own customers because nobody knows how these companies curate content.”

It should be noted that this is not a formal investigation and as such, the FTC is not obligated to launch an investigation or even respond to the letter.

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