Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson urges U.S. gov’t to regulate social media algorithms

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson

In a bid to scale up efforts to combat disinformation, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson urged the United States government to take on the herculean task of regulating social media algorithms that play a role in perpetuating hate and misinformation.

Twilio, an American cloud communications platform earlier joined a burgeoning list of companies policing content and applications that perpetuate violence. The action comes on the heels of the U.S. Capitol riot last week.

“I think our government leaders should seek to understand the role of algorithmic systems in driving what we as consumers see and read every day because I think that is uncharted territory for how technology is affecting individuals all the way up to the societal level,” Lawson told CNBC’s “A View from the Top.

Lawson cited the role of government in understanding how social media algorithms work and “what they optimize for and what’s the societal impact.”

He said this is because “that’s the biggest externality that you see today in some of the technology that society has not figured out what to do with it. And I think the impacts of it are pretty wide-reaching.”