What was the main reason Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was hauled before three committees of Congress, asks Daniel Henninger in the WSJ. The Russians. Did the Russian bots exploit the personal Facebook data obtained by Cambridge Analytica to help win Donald Trump the White House?
The live Zuckerberg testimony was torture, forcing anyone interested to hear innumerable senators and House members share their thoughts on technology. Lowering the bar on Senate discourse below swamp level, Louisiana Republican John Kennedy said the Facebook user agreement “sucks.”
Social-media platforms, like Facebook, are slammed for exposing users to content that encourages “hate.”
Facebook’s answer to this perceived problem has been to hire some 15,000 people dedicated to “community operations and review,” with more monitors on the way.
From Mr. Zuckerberg:
Over the long term, what I’d really like to get to is an independent appeal. So maybe folks at Facebook make the first decision based on the community standards that are outlined, and then people can get a second opinion.
You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.
To this point, Mr. Henninger reminds readers, there has been no such thing as “acceptable speech” defined by speech police from all over the world. But today, “the bedrock idea of free speech is under pressure in the U.S.”
So which will it be: Federal regulation of individual privacy, or a speech panel of “independent folks” defining what is acceptable”?
Read more from DH here.