Silicon Valley

Ex-employees of Facebook, Google, and Apple have set up a new initiative that aims to repair some of the damage allegedly being done by smartphones and social media.

In its own words: The new Center for Humane Technology says that it is “reversing the digital attention crisis and re-aligning technology with humanity’s best interests.”

What it will do: For starters, it’ll lobby for a bill to research effects of technology on kids’ health, as well as another to ban the use of bots that aren’t clearly labeled as automated systems. It will also run tech-focused PSA ad campaigns at 55,000 American public schools.

Why it matters: There’s rising mistrust of Big Tech, thanks to addictive apps, new products aimed squarely at kids, fake news, and many other misdeeds. So far, attempts to hold tech firms to account haven’t worked. It will be interesting to see if this movement turns mistrust into useful action.