The concept of regulating an industry requires knowledge of what it does.
According to Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post, we can’t regulate Facebook because our leadership doesn’t know how it works.
The hearing should give everyone serious pause if they think that federal legislation is going to solve the serious and growing issues of technology run amok.
For one simple reason: Legislators don’t seem to understand it well enough to even ask the right questions, much less fix the problem.
Does the phrase “Assault Weapons” mean anything? Democrats have been screaming to ban firearms based on how they look. Many of those same elected officials say the “AR” stands for “Assault Rifle.” Would not the same logic apply here?
Sullivan, and by extension, the Washington Post, and other liberal media outlets, ignore the real reason Zuckerberg and his company are under scrutiny: Donald Trump won the election.
More to the point, Hillary lost because of possible collusion from Russia using Facebook. Or something more sinister.
Cambridge Analytica used data it collected from Facebook’s platform in the same way other entities have, including President Obama’s re-election campaign. This revelation occurred after Robert Mueller began his “supposed” investigation into Russian collusion.
The outrage peaked by the discovery that Trump’s campaign has used this data! Previous reports suggest that on Facebook, the data used targeted individuals on the fence about Hillary to not vote for her.
Despite liberal outrage from careless Facebook practices, Zuckerberg avoided real scrutiny. He often retreated that Facebook is an open platform for ideas. The phrase “open platform for ideas” has a nice ring to it, so long as the ideas agree with the proletariat.
Consider the statement he wants to develop AI to police the platform: Senators were quick to side with him on the concept of “terrorism” and “violence”, but for “hate speech”, Zuckerberg could not define it.
What these hearings missed is the blurring of violence and hate speech. Liberals today push that open advocacy of the Christian religion is the same as supporting violence against the LGBTQ community. This is gaining traction in more moderate leftist groups.
Facebook’s political views of its owner, upper management, and most of its workforce are very liberal. These are the people developing AI and would have the most influence towards deciding its moral values.
Let’s go further. Zuckerberg’s explanation that conservative voices silenced or removed from the platform resulted from an “enforcement error.” Some internal process, overseen by human input, determined these groups “violated community standards and designated unsafe.”
Imagine what happens when AI takes over and learns its morals from these same engineers. Will Facebook’s version of AI inherit the same principles using the existing “enforcement” system that targets conservative groups and silenced at a much higher rate?
Facebook deserves regulation as a platform if for no other reason than to protect the cherished principles of free speech. It doesn’t require understanding the underlying technology used to access it. Inherent problems documented for years should frighten an enlightened journalist such as Sullivan.
Then again, no one would have cared had Hillary won.