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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:24PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @07:24PM (#606309)

    FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it, period. Now will they catch everything no. But that was s where the law will go.

    If you BYE a TV off the back of truck with other TVs. That is fishy so a simlpe report is responsible for you to do. But then you have received stolen property so enjoy jail.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:58PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:58PM (#606393) Journal

    FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it, period.

    And how should they know that?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:45PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:45PM (#606427)

      Insert an 'Once' at the beginning of the sentence and it makes more sense... ONCE fb knew they should have reported it...

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:00AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:00AM (#606481) Journal
        And when you do that, you still have the problem that Facebook has in the past reported [engadget.com] such things.

        At the time [a little before Trump's inauguration], Zuckerberg admitted the social network knew about problems, but told Obama that it wasn't widespread and that there wasn't a lot Facebook could do in any case. In June 2016, Facebook's security team found suspicious accounts set up by the Kremlin-backed APT28 hacking team, also known as Guccifer 2.0, the Post says.

        However, it found no solid proof of Russian disinformation and turned over everything it found to the US government. Reportedly, neither US law enforcement nor national security personnel met with Facebook to share or discuss the information.

        and

        While it appears that Facebook turned over any evidence to US law enforcement as soon as it found it, ads and fake news are filtered mostly by algorithms. Facebook's human content gatekeepers, often contractors, are mostly on the watch for violent or sexually explicit materials, not foreign propaganda.

        So there seems to be no grounds for the concern that Facebook failed to report such crime.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Wednesday December 06 2017, @11:12PM (6 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @11:12PM (#606467) Journal

    FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it

    The law is illegal. There is nothing in the 1st Amendment that makes exceptions for foreign nationals. The statue simply states "no law". If you want to make exceptions you have to amend the constitution, and that procedure is explicitly spelled out also.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:10AM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:10AM (#606505) Journal
      Agree. This current witch hunt is exactly why the First Amendment was created. No good will come of this hearing. Any attempt to fix this will result in social media companies policing their forums in ways that allow for suppression of legitimate speech.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:11AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @01:11AM (#606506) Journal
        And by "legitimate", I mean speech of the sort which purportedly is not subject to laws about foreign nationals and governments.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:23AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:23AM (#606763)

      The law is illegal.

      The voting voters' representatives passed the law, so it must be okay. The voting voter have all the power and can change the law any time they want to, but they haven't, so they must want the law in place!