Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress on Oct. 5, urging lawmakers to regulate the tech giant and offering potential policy solutions to the platform’s myriad controversies — many of which echo proposals made by Facebook itself.
While several of Haugen’s ideas, such as restricting the use of engagement-based algorithms, appear to challenge the core business model of Facebook and other platforms, other proposals, such as her proposed reforms to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and enhanced public oversight of social media, are much more in line with what tech giants have been advocating for years. If enacted, these policies could end up further entrenching Facebook and other tech giants as dominant platforms by placing increased costs on smaller competitors, experts say.
“There is a reason we have seen Facebook call on new regulations for internet companies,” Jeffrey Westling, Technology and Innovation fellow at the R Street Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Established, dominant firms can bear those costs while rival firms cannot.” . . .
In her testimony before Congress Haugen advocated for reforming Section 230 to strip liability protections from companies for content amplified by algorithms, citing the alleged societal harm such content could cause.
“I strongly encourage reforming Section 230 to exempt decisions about algorithms,” Haugen said. “They [Facebook] have a hundred percent control over their algorithms, and Facebook should not get a free pass on choices it makes to prioritize growth and virality and reactiveness over public safety.” (Read more from “Facebook’s Whistleblower Could Be the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Big Tech” HERE)