Reigning In Facebook

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The must-read of the weekend was a long article in the New York Times by Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook who cashed out in 2012, entitled “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook.”

He goes over the by-now familiar arguments, including the fact that Facebook controls “more than 80 percent of the world’s social networking revenue…eclipsing all of its rivals and erasing competition from the social networking category.”

Monopolies like this stifle competition and innovation and increase the likelihood of price gouging.

And it wasn’t very reassuring – on top of a legacy of Facebook misleading regulators and customers about how it was misusing your data – to see the company’s top flack, Nick Clegg, on TV yesterday insisting that this gigantic monopoly isn’t a monopoly.

But the most urgent reason to impose outside regulation on Facebook is its leading role in the virtually unchecked spread of slander, vicious rumor, and hate speech.

Facebook czar Mark Zuckerberg loves to rattle on about all the money they’ve pumped into monitoring that garbage, but when you see that doctors who go online to argue in favor of immunization are routinely barraged with vile attacks on Facebook’s platforms, you know he’s just trying to avoid accountability.

If Facebook can’t or won’t clean up its foul act, we have to step in and do it for them.

As Hughes writes: “We already have limits on yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, child pornography, speech intended to provoke violence and false statements to manipulate stock prices….there is no constitutional right to harass others or live-stream violence.”

And every reason to no longer let the frauds at Facebook keep driving us all off a cliff.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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