3 ways Congress can hold Facebook accountable for its actions


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Yves came to see another set of proposals on Facebook that was frustrating, but also exciting. There are obvious ways to get into their underwear, first of all by destroying them because of criminal fraud (absurd exaggeration of their readership; charging advertisers the number of views they have never obtained and impossible to obtain; also charging advertisers and Rejection of refunds when advertising on Facebook) Unauthorized). You don’t need to rely on antitrust litigation. This is a difficult road because these cases take a long time and, as Microsoft has shown, you can “win” but lose during the punishment phase. The most likely remedy for the success of Facebook’s antitrust litigation is for Facebook to divest its recent acquisitions… This does not help control Facebook’s core business, which many people have begun to understand and hate.

Therefore, a theoretically faster alternative is to regulate Facebook like a utility. But this requires a certain consensus on which restrictive measures should be implemented. As you can see from this article, ideas are everywhere.

Authors: Anjana Susarla, Professor of Information Systems at Michigan State University, Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of the School of Global Business at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, and Ryan Calo, Professor of Law at the University of Washington.Originally published on dialogue

Facebook May have changed their company name Meta Platforms, but this will not end its troubles-nor will it strive to control the business practices of social media companies.Legislators are thinking New ways to regulate Facebook, Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in 2019 that he Welcome to the new “Rules governing the Internet”. “With this in mind, we invited three social media, technology policy, and global business experts to provide a specific action that the government can take against Meta’s Facebook service.


Let users control more data

Anjana Susarla, Professor of Information Systems, Michigan State University

Social media sites such as Facebook are designed to attract users’ attention through continuous interaction.To control Facebook, legislators must first understand The harm caused by algorithm operation On these platforms. One thing Congress can do is to ensure that Facebook gives users more control over the data the company collects about them and why.

Most people who use Facebook do not know How algorithm recommendations affect their platform experience, and thus the information they participate in. E.g, According to reports, political campaigns are trying to manipulate participation Get more attention on Facebook.

A key aspect of providing this transparency is to allow users to better access and control their data, similar to the California proposal Consumer Privacy ActThis will allow users to see what personal data Facebook has collected about them and how the company uses this data.Many people don’t realize that Meta has the ability to treat their Political preference with Attitude towards society.

A related question is Data portability tools and rights Allow users to send the data (including photos and videos) they share on Facebook to other social media services.

Providing users with more control over their data will greatly help ensure independent accountability and oversight of Facebook’s operations.


Mandatory transparency

Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

In October 2020, Facebook sent a copy of Stop letter to researchers at New York UniversityResearchers are investigating the spread of misinformation on Facebook through political advertising. The company told New York University that crawling its platform violated Facebook’s terms of service and threatened that if this practice continues, it will take “additional enforcement actions.” August 2021, Facebook Terminated the accounts of two researchers And cut off New York University and its partners’ access to its political advertising library.

A company like Meta is Not completely candid about the problem On their platform. The public mainly uses the efforts of researchers, reporters and internal whistleblowers to understand issues such as misinformation and prejudice.

When threatening to take legal action or blocking accountability studies, Congress has the power to prevent Meta’s intervention.For example, Congress can add research exemptions to Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Which will protect researchers from the threat of litigation for using data that is not expressly authorized by the social media company, or protect employees from retaliation.

Congress can go one step further: it can enforce transparency. The principle of freedom of speech or platform immunity does not prohibit the government from imposing audit or reporting requirements on social media. The Federal Reserve embeds its supervisory agency into the National Bank.

Why shouldn’t Meta — one family own it 900 billion USD market value And ambitious Metaverse — Must review its operations?


Another way to make Meta payments

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of the School of Global Business, Fletcher School, Tufts University

I have a pragmatic suggestion for what the government might do with Meta.

When the New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo Raised this question recently For experts, they proposed many solutions. In the end, Manjoo concluded that because of deep political divisions in Congress, “doing nothing may be the most likely outcome.”

I also agree that this is the most reasonable situation. However, there is one fact that is indisputable: Meta is currently under pressure, and no matter what happens in the future, the government can use this influence to obtain direct benefits for society.

There is a bigger problem than the lack of accountability of big technology: Almost half of Americans Unable to use the Internet at broadband speeds. In the post-pandemic world, high-speed Internet has proven to be indispensable, which is unacceptable. Many people also cannot afford broadband Internet.

Even the $65 billion broadband earmark Infrastructure Act Just getting approval from Congress is not enough to bridge the huge digital divide in the United States. The “My Digital Planet” research team at Tufts University estimates that Filling the infrastructure access gap requires US$240 billion – Leave a gap of US$175 billion.

Legislators can use regulatory measures to get companies to agree to broadband coverage across the country. Meta already has two programs that can be used to bridge the gap between the two countryside with Urbanfield.

At the same time, Congress can levy Technology tax Digital advertising sold by Facebook and other social networks to subsidize telecommunications services in high-cost areas.

By allowing more people to access the high-speed Internet, Meta will benefit by increasing the number of people who eventually join Meta universeAlthough this may seem counterproductive, Facebook’s ills are offset by larger ills in large areas of the United States. People cannot use the Internet to access basic services because we cannot raise enough funds to close the gap.



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