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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: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:28PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:28PM (#607042) Journal

    Why should we rely on regulation, which is only as strong or effective as the government currently in power allows, rather than those who own shares in the company?

    Conflict of interest. For example, what's going to happen when the shareholders aren't interested in the common good?

    They were not selling because the business had failed, they were retiring and no longer wanted to be involved with running a company.

    The company had a very deflated stock price. That was driving the sale. The founders otherwise could have appointed replacement leadership and no drama would have ensued.

    Among the sorts of things that it might be possible to prevent if corporate laws were rewritten to encourage behavior other than short term gain.

    Ben & Jerry's used two of those tricks - poison pills and tiered ownership.