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Facebook’s in need of regulation

The American public has been made aware of some disturbing things that social media giant Facebook has been doing. Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen told, in a “60 Minutes” interview and in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, how Facebook, and its subsidiary Instagram, knew that its policies and algorithms that promote various kinds of content, are damaging to its users. Young girls on Instagram tend to develop harmful body images, for instance. It has allowed misinformation to be spread, widening the divide that already exists in our political landscape. According to Haugen, Facebook has chosen “profits over safety” time and again.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is leading the fight for better regulation of Facebook and other social media, which have become such a huge part of the way people around the world communicate and share information and opinion.

Klobuchar says Congress needs to update privacy legislation, which hasn’t been changed since before Facebook and others started up. Klobuchar would also like to expand the Children’s Online Privacy Act, which protects kids under 13, to children over 13. Klobuchar would also require social media companies to make their algorithms more transparent, so we could see who is promoting and spreading bad content.

Companies that become too big and powerful in their fields tend to abuse their power. Government has recognized this since the days of President Theodore Roosevelt. Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow social media barons are in need of a little trust busting.

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