This week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg once again appeared before U.S. lawmakers to answer allegations of anti-conservative bias and explain the company’s moderation shortcomings.
As usual, Zuckerberg was hammered by Republican politicians over whether or not his platform censors political thought. Meanwhile, Democrats pressed him to answer for why Facebook was slow to take down content that could have played a role in inciting violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. However, while there may be merit to pressuring Facebook about these issues, some experts see a missed opportunity to force the social media giant into a real accounting of its practices.
“What makes all this even more frustrating is that there are very real harms being done by the data harvesting and surveillance capitalist business model of big tech,” deputy director of privacy rights group Fight for the Future Evan Greer told The Guardian. “Lawmakers should be getting to work passing strong federal data privacy legislation, enforcing antitrust laws, and restoring net neutrality. We can’t afford more partisan posturing on this.”
It isn’t clear if Facebook will ever face the kind of tough federal regulation that Greer is talking about. However, it almost certainly won’t if lawmakers can’t focus on the big-picture problems posed by the company.
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