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April 11 – Cong. Buddy Carter gives national interview on Facebooks’ Mark Zuckerberg testimony; Does not Support Regulation of FB

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

April 11, 2018 – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in in his second day of testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Russian interference in the U.S. elections, and the integrity and privacy of the information of Facebook users. Congressman Buddy Carter sits on that committee, and had an opportunity to ask Zuckerberg questions. At 3:30 today, he was interviewed by MSNBC on the hearings.

Many local businesses also buy Facebook ads to market their business, as well as area non-profits buy ads to push upcoming events. That brings the issues of the integrity of Facebook, and what the company is doing to protect the private information of users home

Zuckerberg finished five hours of testimony Weds, including acknowledging that 87 million users had their personal information and usage data sold to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that was allegedly hired by the Trump presidential campaign.  

Carter was asked about the role he felt that Congress should play in legislating social media? “There’s no question about it. I do think that we need to nibble at the edges. Just this week, the President imposed civil and criminal actions on companies that knowingly advertise sex trafficking. But, I’m not in support of the government making the internet a utility.  You can’t legislative morality.  But he (Zuckerberg) has a responsibility as a platform to be monitoring that platform.”

“That includes companies illegally selling drugs on the internet, and wildlife… including the sale of ivory, and the piracy of movies.  Those are all kinds of things that they can control and should be controlling,” Carter added.

Asked about his concern about Russian interference in the U.S. elections, and what he thinks Congress should do, Carter told MSNBC, “No question about it. We in Congress are very concerned about it.  We’ve had hearings with other companies as well, such as Equifax and other breeches where information has gotten out.  What I hope is that these companies are understanding that you need to do it, before we have to do it,” concluded Carter. But he did not speak in favor of regulating Facebook.

However, some European governments have begun to regulate Facebook. It is estimated that Facebook reaches two-thirds of U.S. households 35 minutes a day, on average, and many believe that they are seriously hurting U.S. media companies, but are not regulated as they are.  Facebook states that they “are a platform,” not a media company. 

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