Sen Chris Coons (D) DE and Sen Bob Corker are looking into legislation that would regulate Facebook on the heels of their blocking of much commentary on their site while allowing foreign and domestic terrorists to post without interruption. They are warning Facebook that they wont like what the Senate will do to them unless they clean up their act themselves.
“If they don’t, if they continue to act as if we couldn’t possibly deign to regulate them, they’ll get regulated and they’ll be unpleasantly surprised with how swiftly it may happen. I think they’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
Revelations about Facebook’s response to manipulation of their social network before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and shifting accounts about breaches of users’ privacy, have battered the company’s reputation and fueled frustration on Capitol Hill. Coons said the company’s leaders should come back and testify before Congress.
The latest controversy erupted after a report in the New York Times on Thursday suggested that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg weren’t as involved with the serious issues facing the company as they should have been and instead were more concerned about defending Facebook’s reputation and embarking on an aggressive lobbying campaign to fend off critics.
Zuckerberg testified at a Senate hearing in April, Sandberg in September.
“They and others need to come together quickly and figure out how they’re going to deal with this issue or Congress will — and likely the outcome is not going to be particularly good,” said Corker, a Tennessee Republican who is retiring in a few weeks.
Facebook’s censoring of conservatives influenced the midterm elections more than the Russians could ever hope to do.