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    Facebook whistleblower testimony builds stricter tech law momentum

    Legislators called for increased privacy and competition law, special online protection for children, increased transparency of social media algorithms, and increased accountability of the platform.

    “I think it’s time for action, and you’re the catalyst for that action,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Party of Minnesota.

    Hogen said lawmakers need to go beyond some legal remedies under consideration.

    “The seriousness of this crisis requires us to break out of the previous regulatory framework,” she said. “Tweaks to outdated privacy protection … not enough.”

    An important starting point is “Full access to data for research not directed by Facebook. On this foundation, consumer harm, illegal content, data protection, anti-competitive practices, algorithmic systems You can build wise rules and standards to deal with such things. “

    Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Connecticut), chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee, said on Tuesday that Facebook and other major technology companies said, as a result of Mr. Hogen’s disclosure. Faced with a big cigarette moment. A moment of calculation. ”

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    “Facebook knows that its products can be addictive and toxic to children,” he said.Blumental called the founder of Facebook

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Appearing in front of Congress to testify, calling the company “morally bankrupt.”

    Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Blumenthal’s comment. However, representatives of social media companies questioned Mr. Hogen’s breadth of knowledge.

    Facebook spokesman Andy Stone when lawmakers asked her about a document showing Instagram’s impact on children

    Said on twitter “I didn’t work on child safety, Instagram, or investigate these issues, and I didn’t have any direct knowledge of this topic from her work on Facebook,” Hogen said.

    The documents that Mr. Haugen collected while working on Facebook are: The Wall Street Journal Facebook File series.

    Facebook has previously argued with the characteristics of the documents in the journal by Mr. Blumenthal and other members of his committee. Ask Facebook executives Antigone Davis about last week’s document.

    “It’s not accurate that leaked internal investigations show that Instagram is’toxic’to teenage girls,” Facebook said in a statement. “Survey shows that many teens we’ve heard tell them to use Instagram when they’re suffering from the difficult moments and problems they’re always facing. I find it useful. “

    The journal defended the series by saying that Facebook did not identify any de facto mistakes.

    Hogen said Facebook leaders often choose to stay profitable rather than user-safe when given the option. She said this was part of Zuckerberg’s corporate culture on Facebook. She said Zuckerberg is very powerful in Silicon Valley because she has a majority vote and is CEO and chairman of Facebook’s board of directors.

    “Currently, I’m the only one responsible for Mark,” she said.

    Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal listening to testimony from Francis Hogen on Tuesday.


    Photo:

    Drew Angeler / Getty Images

    She added that Facebook under Zuckerberg is toxic and likely to be harmful because it is guided by numbers rather than people. “Mark has built a very metric-driven organization,” she said. “The indicators make the decision. Unfortunately, it is the decision itself.”

    Facebook’s team, which drives the company’s growth, often works with the team responsible for keeping the platform secure, Haugen told the panel.

    Mr. Haugen insisted on policy changes to address her perceived concerns. For products such as cars and tobacco, independent researchers can assess their health effects, but “the public can’t do the same on Facebook,” she said.

    “Looking at Facebook’s actual system and not being able to confirm that it works as communicated is like regulating a car just by seeing the Department of Transportation drive on the freeway,” she says. Insisted on an independent government agency that hires and audits professionals. The influence of social media.

    If Congress moves to change Section 230, a law that protects Facebook and other businesses from liability for user-generated content, she chooses to make that type of content and the type of content the company advertises. He said he needed to make a distinction.

    “Facebook shouldn’t pass the choices it makes to prioritize virality, growth and responsiveness over public safety,” she said.

    Haugen, who resigned from Facebook in April, was a product manager hired to protect him from election interference on Facebook. She said she acted because she was dissatisfied with Facebook’s lack of openness about the potential harm to the platform and its reluctance to address the flaw.

    Hogen is seeking protection from federal whistleblowers at the Securities and Exchange Commission. She is also interested in working with the State Attorney General and European regulators.

    Hogen has collected internal documents that show: How Facebook’s Instagram App Leads to Depression and Anxiety For many teenage girls.

    Senator John Thune (R., SD), who sponsors several measures for algorithm transparency, said:


    Photo:

    Stephanie Reynolds / Bloomberg News

    Instagram disclosure is building momentum to update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a 1998 law governing websites that collect data about children. The law, known as Koppa, has been widely criticized for being inadequate in the age of social media.

    “Renewal of Koppa is essential,” Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington, who chairs a powerful commercial committee, said in a hearing last week.

    Critics say the written law has measures that create the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement challenges. One is the requirement that the platform operator have “real knowledge” of collecting personal information about the child before the strictest restrictions of the law apply. The other is the age limit. Only children under the age of 13 receive the strongest protection.

    Republicans and Democrats have similarly supported legislative updates.

    Some legislators have also expressed a renewed interest in transparency measures that give the general public and policy makers a better understanding of how algorithms work when proposing content to users. Senator John Thune (R., SD), who sponsors several measures for algorithm transparency, said: “There are some things you can do here.”

    Other proposals from lawmakers on Tuesday included creating comprehensive privacy protections for US consumers and new competition rules in the Internet age. Some senators also pressured Congress to reduce the exemption from liability it had long ago given to online platforms for the actions of their users.

    However, some legislators have admitted that some efforts to regulate Big Tech have already garnered fierce opposition from some major companies. “Every corner of the building has lobbyists hired by the tech industry,” Klobuchar said. “Facebook and other big tech companies are spending a lot of money around the city and people are listening to them.”

    Facebook is publicly calling for government action to better regulate the online environment.

    In addition to Instagram documentation, Haugen said of the company Moderation rules favor the elite; How Algorithm promotes discordDrug cartels and traffickers Use the service openly..

    In a statement this week, Blumental promised to increase hearings to “document why Facebook and other tech companies have to be held accountable and their plans.” Reform was needed. “

    In its statement, Facebook said, “Teams need to balance protecting the ability of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep the platform safe and positive. There is. “

    “We continue to make significant improvements to address the spread of false information and harmful content,” the company said. “It’s not true that we encourage bad content and suggest doing nothing.”

    Write to John D. McKinnon john.mckinnon@wsj.com And Ryan Tracy ryan.tracy@wsj.com

    Copyright © 2021 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

    Facebook whistleblower testimony builds stricter tech law momentum

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    The post Facebook whistleblower testimony builds stricter tech law momentum appeared first on Eminetra.

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