Facebook whistleblower urges lawmakers to avert impasse on social media laws

Asia's Tech News Daily

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen implored lawmakers Wednesday to avert the usual congressional stalemates as they weigh proposals to curb abuses on social media platforms by limiting the companies’ free-speech protections against legal liability.

Still, Haugen urged caution in making changes to the 1996 law that provides legal protection both for content the platforms carry and for companies removing postings they deem offensive. She cited unintended consequences from a previous congressional revision.

“I encourage you to move forward with eyes open to the consequences of reform,” Haugen testified at a hearing by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. “I encourage you to talk to human rights advocates who can help provide context on how the last reform … had dramatic impacts on the safety of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Facebook whistleblower urges lawmakers to avert impasse on social media laws

►Kim Komando:Here’s how tech can tell that your partner is cheating on you

►A Tesla for kids?:Check out the brand’s new Cyberquad, a four-wheel ATV meant for children

Lawmakers brought forward proposals after Haugen presented a case in October that Facebook’s systems amplify online hate and extremism and fail to protect young users from harmful content.

Her previous disclosures have energized legislative and regulatory efforts around the world aimed at cracking down on Big Tech, and she made a series of appearances recently before European lawmakers and officials who are drawing up rules for social media companies.

Haugen, a data scientist who worked as a product manager in Facebook’s civic integrity unit, buttressed her assertions with a massive trove of internal company documents she secretly copied and provided to federal securities regulators and Congress.

“Facebook wants you to get caught up in a long, drawn out debate over the minutiae of different legislative approaches. Please don’t fall into that trap,” she told the lawmakers Wednesday. “Time is of the essence. There is a lot at stake here. You have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create new rules for our online world.”

When she made her first public appearance this fall, laying out a far-reaching condemnation of the social network giant before a Senate Commerce subcommittee, Haugen offered prescriptions for action by Congress. She rejected the idea of breaking up the tech giant as many lawmakers are calling for, favoring instead targeted legislative remedies.

►Facebook Papers:Whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies at Parliament

Social media:Facebook fed posts with violence and nudity to people with low digital literacy

Most notably, they include new curbs on the long-standing legal protections for speech posted on social media platforms. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called for stripping away some of the protections granted by a provision in a 25-year-old law — generally known as Section 230 — that shields internet companies from liability for what users post. Enacted when many of the most powerful social media companies didn’t even exist, the law allowed companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to grow into the behemoths they are today.

“Let’s work together on bipartisan legislation because we can’t continue to wait,” said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., the chairman of the communications and technology subcommittee.

Facebook and other social media companies use computer algorithms to rank and recommend content. They govern what shows up on users’ news feeds. Haugen’s idea is to remove the protections in cases where dominant content driven by algorithms favors massive engagement by users over public safety.

That’s the thought behind the Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act, which was introduced by senior House Democrats about a week after Haugen testified to the Senate panel in October. The bill would hold social media companies responsible by removing their protection under Section 230 for tailored recommendations to users that are deemed to cause harm. A platform would lose the immunity in cases where it “knowingly or recklessly” promoted harmful content.

Haugen, who has previously focused most of her specific public remarks on her view of Facebook’s failings, brought out sharp criticism at Wednesday’s hearing of TikTok, the video platform that is wildly popular with teens and younger children.

“TikTok is designed to be censored,” she said, maintaining that its ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance makes it ripe for mandated content. Haugen asserted TikTok’s algorithms make it more addictive to users even than Facebook’s messaging service Instagram — which she has criticized in detail, citing internal research showing apparent harm to some young users, especially girls. The research suggested that peer pressure generated by Instagram has led to mental health and body-image problems and in some cases, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.

Spokespeople for TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who heads the full Energy and Commerce committee, said a proposal from its senior Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, isn’t identical to the Democrats’ bill but represents a good start for potential compromise.

All of the legislative proposals face a heavy lift toward final enactment by Congress.

Some experts who support stricter regulation of social media say the Democrats’ legislation as written could have unintended consequences. It doesn’t make clear enough which specific algorithmic behaviors would lead to loss of the liability protection, they suggest, making it hard to see how it would work in practice and leading to wide disagreement over what it might actually do.

Meta Platforms, the new name of Facebook’s parent company, has declined to comment on specific legislative proposals. The company has advocated for updated regulations.

“We are a platform for free expression and every day have to make difficult decisions on the balance between giving people voice and limiting harmful content,” Meta said in a statement Wednesday. “It is no surprise Republicans and Democrats often disagree with our decisions – but they also disagree with each other. What we need is a set of updated rules for the internet set by Congress that companies should follow, which is why we’ve been asking for this for nearly three years.”

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has suggested changes that would only give internet platforms legal protection if they can prove that their systems for identifying illegal content are up to snuff. That requirement, however, might be more difficult for smaller tech companies and startups to meet, leading critics to charge that it would ultimately favor Facebook.

Other social media companies have urged caution in any legislative changes to Section 230.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Manuel Neuer set to sign new Bayern Munich contract

Manuel Neuer is close to extending his Bayern Munich contract with his current deal set to expire in 2023. © Provided by 90min Neuer is still one of the best ... Read more »

A guide to finding your favorite streaming program: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current ... Read more »

Manchester City vs Chelsea final score: De Bruyne the hero for runaway leaders

Manchester City vs Chelsea final score: This clash was decided by a moment of magic by Kevin de Bruyne, as Pep Guardiola’s side extend their lead atop the Premier League ... Read more »

Liverpool 3-0 Brentford LIVE! Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today

LIVE – Updated at 15:52 Liverpool vs Brentford LIVE! Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are out to cement their spot as Manchester City’s chief title rivals when they welcome Brentford to Anfield ... Read more »

Prince Harry wants Archie, Lilibet to visit U.K. if he can pay for police protection

LONDON – Prince Harry has filed a claim for a judicial review against the British government’s decision not to let him personally pay for police protection while in the U.K. ... Read more »

No. 1 ranked-tennis player Djokovic leaves Australia after losing appeal: Live COVID-19 updates

Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1-ranked tennis player, flew out of Australia on Sunday after losing his appeal to avoid deportation and play in the Australian Open. Australia’s immigration minister, ... Read more »

Super Bowl TV deal at Best Buy: Sony's 85-inch 4K TV gets $400 slashed off price

The Super Bowl is officially less than a month away, and Best Buy is kicking things off with epic TV deals that you can shop right now. Our favorite bargain ... Read more »

A busy few weeks in qualified immunity and coming up a Twitter Spaces event from USA TODAY

There’s been lots of news and debate around the country about qualified immunity in the last few weeks from Colorado to Louisiana to Massachusetts. Check out the latest links from ... Read more »

Shop best-selling lululemon leggings, hoodies, joggers and more during the We Made Too Much sale

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. lululemon’s cult-favorite leggings are luxurious and certainly splurge-worthy for good reason. ... Read more »

University of Michigan president removed over alleged 'inappropriate relationship' with school employee

University of Michigan's Board of Regents will remove President Mark Schlissel from his position following allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with an employee at the school. After Schlissel's removal, ... Read more »

Carol Vorderman looks incredible in curve-hugging activewear on Portuguese health retreat

Carol Vorderman set pulses racing on Sunday as she posed in activewear ahead of a long day of hiking on her luxe Portuguese health retreat. SEE: Carol Vorderman's grand home ... Read more »

Dozens of people flee in panic after hearing a "gunshot" in a UK McDonald's

Shocking footage shows dozens of people fleeing in panic after hearing a “gunshot” in a packed McDonald’s in Manchester. Video shows a huge 30-people brawl break out at the restaurant ... Read more »

Should Jim Harbaugh stay at Michigan or go to NFL? Full arguments for and against

A long time ago, Jim Harbaugh almost drowned his older brother, John. They were college aged and vacationing with their family in Amelia Island, Florida. The brothers were on the ... Read more »

‘Such a mess': Andy Murray and tennis world react to Djokovic's deportation

Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters Most players have avoided addressing case on social media Murray: ‘I respect Novak, I don’t like that he is in this situation’ The tennis world reacted with ... Read more »

Look at what some have been saying about the Bills' impressive 47-17 win over the New England Patriots

The Buffalo Bills advanced to the AFC Divisional Round after they managed to absolutely humiliate the New England Patriots on Saturday evening, with a blowout 47-17 victory. The Bills will ... Read more »

Saturday Night Live's Joe Biden blames omicron, inflation on ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Saturday Night Live’s Joe Biden blames surging COVID cases and inflation on Spider-Man. But why is Pete Davidson having more fun? Read more »

West Ham 2-2 Leeds United LIVE! Fornals goal - Premier League match stream, latest score and updates today

LIVE – Updated at 15:13 West Ham vs Leeds United LIVE! The Hammers can solidify their spot in the top four with another win over Leeds at London Stadium this ... Read more »

South Korean president visits UAE, showcasing deep ties

The Associated PressSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in arrives to Al Wasl Dome to attend an official ceremony at Dubai Expo 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. ... Read more »

6 ways open-source devs can make money

The amount of money you can make from open source code depends on several factors. First of all, the popularity of your open source project plays a significant role that ... Read more »

Britney Spears says she loves sister Jamie Lynn amid social media spat 

"All I know is I love you unconditionally...so go ahead and say whatever you want. It’s so tacky for a family to publicly fight like this!” Read more »

Eagles vs Buccaneers live stream: how to watch NFL playoff game online

Tom Brady to go one and done? Surely not, but then again he is missing two of his favorite targets, in Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Even so, the Eagles ... Read more »

Transfer news: Diego Costa to Arsenal, Eriksen to Premier League

The latest transfer news in the Premier League focuses on two superb players potentially returning with Diego Costa to Arsenal and Christian Eriksen having options among the latest reports. [ ... Read more »

Everton fires Rafa Benitez after 200 days as manager

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Rafa Benitez was fired as Everton manager on Sunday following a 2-1 loss to Norwich in the Premier League that plunged the team closer to the ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 needs to up its game to compete with other foldable phones

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 currently holds the ‘best foldable phone’ title in its grip – but it’s a weak grip, that looks set to break very soon if ... Read more »

Marcos Alonso Admits Chelsea Frustration With Premier League Fixture Postponements

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has demanded fair treatment from the Premier League after several fixture postponements, including the north London derby. Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has demanded fair treatment from ... Read more »

Confirmed Line Ups: Liverpool v Brentford | Premier League | EPL

Liverpool take on Thomas Frank’s Brentford at Anfield on Sunday afternoon and we can bring you the confirmed line ups. Liverpool take on Thomas Frank’s Brentford at Anfield on Sunday ... Read more »

Magic Johnson rips Lakers' effort after blowout loss vs. Nuggets, says owner Jeanie Buss deserves better

Magic Johnson’s Twitter account reached notoriety for its combination of obvious and literal statement presented as “takes.” That makes Johnson’s message to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss in the ... Read more »

Spanish police bust large heroin ring, arrest 10 in raids

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish police have arrested the leading smuggler of heroin into the European country in a bust that took a total of 10 people into custody and ... Read more »

Another golf club will be converted to a housing development — this one a recently renovated course in Ohio

Plans are underway for a new housing development at a former golf course in Pataskala, Ohio, about 30 minutes east of the state capital of Columbus. High Lands Golf Club, ... Read more »

Mali ex-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dies at 76

On Location: January 14, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press BAMAKO, Mali — Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the former president of Mali who took office in ... Read more »

Power outages, flight cancellations sweep South as brutal snow, ice storm slams region

More than 100,000 homes and businesses were already dark in Georgia alone early Sunday. Over 3,000 flights into, out of and within the U.S. had been canceled or delayed. Shoccoe, ... Read more »

The iPad Pro 2022 could support MagSafe through a glass Apple logo

It looks likely that there will be an iPad Pro 2022 making an appearance at some point this year, and new details have emerged about one of the new features ... Read more »

At many churches, pandemic hits collection plates, budgets

Biltmore United Methodist Church of Asheville, North Carolina, is for sale. Already financially strapped because of shrinking membership and a struggling preschool, the congregation was dealt a crushing blow by ... Read more »

Woman dies after being shoved in front of a subway train at Times Square

NEW YORK – A woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station Saturday, police said, a little more than a week ... Read more »

Peloton Bike review

Two-minute review If you’re interested in fitness, it’s likely you’ve heard of Peloton. It’s a relatively recent addition to the home fitness market that aims to give you a boutique ... Read more »

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti leaked pricing suggests a wallet-damaging GPU

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti pricing has leaked from some European retailers, and it seems the new flagship graphics card will take perhaps a chunkier bite out of your wallet than ... Read more »

State media: Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was deposed in a 2020 coup, has died at 76

BAMAKO, Mali — State media: Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was deposed in a 2020 coup, has died at 76. Read more »

Ukraine claims Russia behind cyberattack in 'hybrid war'

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Development said Sunday that Russia was behind a cyberattack that defaced government websites and it alleged that Russia is engaged in a “hybrid ... Read more »

Ex-Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dies at 76

BAMAKO, Mali — Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who took office in a landmark election held after a destabilizing coup only to be ousted in another military takeover nearly ... Read more »

5 financial New Year's resolutions every investor should spend time doing

A 2021 survey from insurer MassMutual reports that 26% of Americans had planned on making a financial resolution in the new year. A smaller percentage will focus their financial resolutions ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic