Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Sunday tore into Facebook, calling the company’s stated attitudes on regulation a sham.
Speaking on “Reliable Sources” on CNN, Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said, “What we are hearing from Facebook is platitudes and bromides. When it says it wants regulation, at the same time it is fighting that regulation tooth and nail, day and night, with armies of lawyers, millions of dollars in lobbying. And so, I must say, Facebook saying it wants regulation is the height of disingenuousness.“
Blumenthal’s remarks come after the recent revelations by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, as well as widespread reporting about a range of issues with Facebook, including the worldwide proliferation of hate speech on the platform.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was that there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said on CBS earlier this month. Blumenthal said he expected other “disgusted” Facebook whistleblowers to step forward.
“What we are seeing here is a building drumbeat for accountability,” Blumenthal told host Brian Stelter. “A movement for reform that will require disclosure of the powerful algorithms that drive destructive content to children and others, the hate speech in foreign countries, but also the anger and depression that is amplified by those algorithms as it leads children down rabbit holes.”
Blumenthal again called for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to follow Haugen and testify on Capitol Hill, and he also sought the full disclosure of internal files on Facebook‘s practices.
He told Stelter: “I wish Mark Zuckerberg would stand up to his responsibility. You know, he controls that company in a way few other single individuals do in corporate America, and he should be held accountable.”