Last week, Facebook abruptly decided to block all news content for Australian users because a proposed law would require it to pay publishers. Many experts predicted this would spark a wave of condemnation around the world, and that is exactly what’s happened this week, with several notable U.S. politicians and experts weighing in that Facebook must be stopped.
Predictably, these Facebook critics are concerned that the platform has gotten too big, and that it has too much control over the content that users see. Some experts even frame this as one of the last possible moments to rein in Facebook’s power before it becomes untouchable.
“It’s worrisome that large tech companies — which routinely tell policymakers they acknowledge the need for regulation — continually resort to using their large scale and dominance to undermine democratically adopted laws,” Sen. Mark Warner said in a statement.
“That the whims of Mark Zuckerberg are so consequential for an entire country helps underscore the stakes in taking on Facebook… while that is still possible,” digital advocate Jeff Hauser said.
As Warner points out, Facebook is often the first to call for the regulation of big tech. However, when the company is actually faced with the prospect, its behavior tells a different story.
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