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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 06, @05:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the thorny-questions dept.

The bloom is off the rose:

It was about an hour and a half into a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee when Sen. Dianne Feinstein laid into Facebook, Google and Twitter.

"I don't think you get it," she began. "You bear this responsibility. You've created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it. Or we will."

The tech giants were being grilled by Congress over Russian trolls abusing their services to meddle in last year's US election, and the California Democratic lawmaker had had it.

It was just one of very public tongue-lashings the Silicon Valley companies received over the course of three marathon congressional panels last month, held over a two-day span. The hearings were anticlimactic, in part because the three companies only sent their general counsels instead of their famous CEOs -- a point several lawmakers bemoaned during the public questioning.

Is it Google, Twitter, and Facebook who don't get it, or Senators like Dianne Feinstein who don't get it?


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @06:23PM (4 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @06:23PM (#606254) Journal

    We are a society that requires disclosure of political ad-buys in the name of transparency.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @07:02PM (3 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @07:02PM (#606283)

    So, I think of posting on Facebook like riding a bicycle on the street... no license required - very hard to regulate. CDL for big-rigs does keep most of them under reasonable control, but if a bunch of kids want to do something crazy there's not much our legal system can do about it.

    Thing is, there's no "Big Rig" in the internet, it's all a bunch of unregulated bike riders out there, but some are legitimate little kids, others are heavily backed representatives of industry.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (2 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (#606302) Journal

      So, I think of posting on Facebook like riding a bicycle on the street...

      They didn't merely post on Facebook. They purchased political ads. There's a big difference.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @09:00PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @09:00PM (#606397)

        O.K. - that's something you can regulate, and should - with clear labeling of paid political advertisement just like television and radio.

        Open and shut, if the organization is taking money for something that is regulated and requires labeling, they have to include adequate labeling to meet the regulation.

        Of course, as soon as they do that, the unregulated forums of "user contributed content" will be overflowing with paid shills. Scratch that, make it past tense, it's been happening since Obama's first campaign and even before.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 08, @10:24PM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 08, @10:24PM (#607468) Journal

        Why? What is the difference? The smart thing to do is not read and believe paid political advertising, not ban or regulate it. It's very easy to figure out who's hot and who's not. The burden of verification is on the reader, not the author