Facebook is ramping up its calls for government regulation of social media companies, which could give the company a leg up on its competitors.
Testifying at a March 25 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signaled his support for a number of legislative changes that would make social networking sites liable for illegal or illicit content published on their platforms. The proposed changes would increase the barrier to entry for new social media companies attempting to compete with Facebook by requiring them to build up units akin to Facebook’s Security and Safety teams that police misinformation.
Facebook’s push for regulation comes as social media companies face increased pressure from both sides of the aisle. Democrats have attacked Facebook as a monopoly that does not do enough to combat disinformation, while many Republicans feel it already overly censors users.
During the hearing, Zuckerberg endorsed legislation that would define “misinformation” and punish companies that allow ads containing misinformation on their sites. Zuckerberg also signaled his support for creating a federal agency to assess misinformation. Conservatives say current attempts to define and prevent “misinformation” are merely an excuse for companies that want to silence dissenting opinions.