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How Should Facebook Be Regulated? Why Political Solutions Will Be Hard to Achieve

12/10/19 - BOSTON, MA. - Stock photography of Facebook on an iPhone on Dec. 10, 2019. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Democrats and Republicans appeared united on Tuesday on the need to enact reforms to protect social media users from the harmful effects of Facebook’s algorithms, which were documented in leaks provided to the Wall Street Journal last month.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower, testified before the Senate Commerce subcommittee about the tech giant’s own decision-making in the face of internal research showing that its platform was being used for sinister purposes, and that its algorithms promoted content that triggered outrage, or was hateful.

Despite the evidence of these uses, which Facebook itself compiled—and is accused of keeping secret—Haugen maintains the social media company turned a blind eye, neglecting its duty to inform its shareholders and the public about what it knows, and profited off the ill effects of its algorithms.

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