In his recent Washington Post editorial Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for regulation for “harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.”
Zuckerberg’s proposal appears to be part of an effort to set clear oversight principles for the industry and shift the burden for monitoring itself badly, which it does.
“However, deciding whether an ad is political isn’t always straightforward,” Zuckerberg wrote in his opinion piece. “Our systems would be more effective if regulation created common standards for verifying political actors.”
And as Congress mulls a potential tech privacy bill, the Facebook CEO called for the U.S. to implement data regulations that apply uniformly across the country.
That’s right: Tech giant is ok to let Twitter, Reddit and a ton of smaller entities go down because he’s convinced FB will survive.
“A consistent set of rules governing internet privacy “will ensure that the Internet does not get fractured, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protections,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Zuckerberg describes the concept of data portability: “True data portability should look more like the way people use our platform to sign into an app than the existing ways you can download an archive of your information.”
In other words, data portability to him means a “Log in with Facebook” button on every website.
“Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t get to make the rules anymore,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who chairs the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, wrote in a tweet. “Facebook is under criminal and civil investigation. It has shown it cannot regulate itself. Does anyone even want his advice?”
Brendan Carr, a Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, said it would be a mistake to invite more government involvement in speech.
“Outsourcing censorship to the government is not just a bad idea, it would violate the First Amendment,” Carr said in a tweet.
Sally Hubbard, the director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, believes that Facebook’s business model is creating harm for which Zuckerberg is trying to dodge responsibility.
“I think he’s trying to avoid what we really need, which is to stop the massive collection of data and to stop these algorithms that prioritize engagement and elevate the [harmful] content,” Hubbard told The Hill.
“In my view, anything that’s going to be effective is going to have to have a very negative effect on their profitability unless they change their business model.”