March 22, 2018

Zuckerberg’s Facebook ‘Fix’

Facebook’s CEO promises steps to protect data, including welcoming “the right regulation.”

In the midst of the brouhaha surrounding Facebook data collection, the company’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”

He promised three steps to protect user data, including investigating and auditing all apps, restricting developers’ data access and adding a tool on the News Feed for users to manage privacy settings. Furthermore, Zuckerberg indicated in interviews that government regulation might be needed. “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” he said. “I actually think the question is more, ‘What is the right regulation?’ rather than ‘Yes or no, should it be regulated?’”

There are two things that could come out of such regulations, one good, one bad. More transparency obviously would be good. As we noted yesterday, social media users aren’t paying for the product, which means users are the product. Full transparency about what data is collected would be welcome. But we fear what is more likely is regulation of free speech, by law and by Facebook’s continued algorithm suppression of conservative sites.

Remember, Barack Obama collected data on four times the number of people Donald Trump did — he was permitted by Facebook “to suck out the whole social graph” (users’ map of social relationships) because he was the desired candidate — and people thought Obama was a campaigning genius. Only now is this a crisis. That speaks of the totalitarian mindset of the Left when it comes to determining what speech is acceptable from what entities or individuals.

Finally, there’s another issue at play. Leftists — led by Hillary Clintonstill can’t get over the fact that Trump won, and they’re making Facebook one of many scapegoats. Zuckerberg is willing to play along, likely as an excuse for more speech suppression.

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