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U.S. lawmaker says Facebook cannot be trusted to regulate itself

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Representative David Cicilline, anticipated to turn out to be the following chairman of House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, mentioned on Wednesday that Facebook Inc cannot be trusted to regulate itself and Congress must take motion.

FILE PHOTO: The front signal to Facebook headquarters is observed in Menlo Park, California, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

Cicilline, mentioning a document within the New York Times on Facebook’s efforts to take care of a chain of crises, mentioned on Twitter: “This staggering report makes clear that @Facebook executives will always put their massive profits ahead of the interests of their customers.”

“It is long past time for us to take action,” he mentioned.

Facebook didn’t in an instant reply to a request for remark.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg mentioned a 12 months in the past that the corporate would put its “community” ahead of benefit, and it has doubled its workforce eager about security and safety problems since then. Spending additionally has higher on creating automatic gear to catch propaganda and subject matter that violates the corporate’s posting insurance policies.

Other tasks have introduced higher transparency concerning the directors of pages and shoppers of advertisements on Facebook. Some critics, together with lawmakers and customers, nonetheless contend that Facebook’s strengthened programs and processes are susceptible to mistakes and that handiest regulations will lead to higher efficiency.

The New York Times mentioned Zuckerberg and the corporate’s leader working officer, Sheryl Sandberg, not noted caution indicators that the social media corporate may just be “exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and encourage fatal campaigns of hate world wide.” And when the caution indicators turned into obtrusive, they “sought to hide them from public view.” (nyti.ms/2OJWpnc)

“We’ve known for some time that @Facebook chose to turn a blind eye to the spread of hate speech and Russian propaganda on its platform,” mentioned Cicilline, who will most likely take the reins of the subcommittee on regulatory reform, industrial and antitrust legislation when the brand new, Democratic-controlled Congress is seated in January.

“Now we know that once they knew the truth, top @Facebook executives did everything they could to hide it from the public by using a playbook of suppressing opposition and propagating conspiracy theories,” he mentioned.

“Next January, Congress should get to work enacting new laws to hold concentrated economic power to account, address the corrupting influence of corporate money in our democracy, and restore the rights of Americans,” Cicilline mentioned.

Reporting by way of Eric Beech; Editing by way of Cynthia Osterman

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