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House & Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation Banning The Use Online Bots

Source: Dmitry Ageev / EyeEm / Getty

Democrats are attempting to save Christmas and just shopping in general from online grinch bots.

Before the pandemic put a strain on the global supply chain causing highly sought-after electronics like PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles to become insanely hard to find, bots were making online shoppers’ lives miserable. Things have only gotten worse, as you can expect to see people complaining to no end about not being able to grab a pair of Jordans, YEEZY’s, or a next-gen gaming system because resellers are gobbling everything up at an alarming rate.

Capitol Hill, well, at least Democrats have heard the cries of consumers and are looking to lend a helping hand in the form of new legislation. House and Senate Democrats have reintroduced the Stopping Grinch Bots act that aims to “ban and outlaw the use of automated bots” that those pesky and insanely greedy resellers use to grab retail items like kicks and gaming consoles.

US Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced the pushing of the Stopping Grinch Bots act.

“At a time when families should be able to spend time with their loved ones, digital “Grinch bots” are forcing Americans to scour online sites in the hopes of finding an affordable gift or paying exorbitant prices for a single toy,” Tonko said in a press release. “These bots don’t just squeeze consumers, they pose a problem for small businesses, local retailers, and other entrepreneurs trying to ensure they have the best items in stock for their customers. Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hardworking parents dry this holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holidays.”

The newly proposed Stopping Grinch Bots act is an expansion of a 2016 law banning and outlawing bots from scooping up tickets to sporting events and concerts, which honestly still happens. If it is passed, it will be enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission.

The Stopping Grinch Bots Act has the support of several consumer agencies such as Consumer Reports, the Consumer Federation of America, and the National Consumer League.

Any action on the bot issue would help at this point.

Photo: Dmitry Ageev / EyeEm / Getty