Vox: What the government could actually do about Facebook

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Vox


By Emily Stewart

The federal government is already investigating Facebook. The question now is how much further it will go to regulate it.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and revelations about the platform’s role in the dissemination of Russian disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign to answer questions about Facebook’s past, current, and future actions.

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Meanwhile, the California legislature is seeking to clamp down on bots. Democratic state Sen. Bob Hertzberg and Democratic State Assembly member Marc Levine have both introduced legislation that would require social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to identify automated accounts — essentially, a sort of sticker that says, “I’m a bot.”

“They built the car and they allowed the Russians to get in it, gave them the keys, and allowed them to go speeding on the highway. And then they wrecked that car into our democracy,” Levine told me recently. “So big tech needs to take responsibility for the software that they are creating.”