In the wake of Australia introducing legislation that would hold Facebook liable for content on its platform, some U.S. lawmakers are considering similar laws to remove the company’s legal protections. And to help build their case, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is set to testify before them this week. She is expected to call on the government to hold her former employer accountable.
Both Republicans and Democrats have previously called for stripping some legal protections from Facebook, leaving it potentially liable for hate speech, harassment, misinformation, and the rest of the bad content on its platform.
“The committee has seen mounting evidence that when social media companies are faced with the choice between making more money or protecting public health and safety, they will continue to choose money,” Rep. Frank Pallone said. “The lack of transparency within these companies has serious repercussions for all Americans. The time for self-regulation is over. Congress must now come together in a bipartisan way to thoughtfully consider proposals that bring about real accountability.”
In her testimony, Haugen is expected to broadly agree with this assessment, and call for Facebook to be heavily regulated by authorities. Even Facebook itself has asked that it be regulated in the past, so now the ball is in the court of lawmakers to finally do something about the social media giant’s wide-reaching power.
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