Statement: Latest Facebook Controversy Underscores Risks of Corporate Power, Need for Greater Regulation
April 10, 2018
By Alexander Tucciarone
Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress is an opportunity for our elected policymakers to clear the air and to start gaining a clearer picture of how a company that touches millions of American lives actually operates. The American people deserve no less than the absolute truth.”
NEW YORK, NY– In advance of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, Marshall Steinbaum, Research Director and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, issued the following statement:
“The latest revelations about Facebook’s monopolistic control over the flow of information and its misuses of user data for profit highlight the urgent policy concerns and real world consequences of its dominant and largely unregulated social media platform. Members of Congress should ask Mark Zuckerberg the hard questions.
“Our elected representatives should demand to know whether Zuckerberg thinks Facebook’s domination of the revenue sources that once powered independent journalism is destroying the livelihood of independent journalists and reducing the public’s access to unbiased information about urgent matters of public interest. They should ask if corporate actors are able to pay a premium for favorable placement in Facebook’s newsfeed. They should find out whether Facebook sells data on workers to their employers, including communications between workers that may be otherwise protected. And they should demand to know whether or not Facebook profits by abetting discrimination on the basis of race or gender in its housing and employment advertisements.
“Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress is an opportunity for our elected policymakers to clear the air and to start gaining a clearer picture of how a company that touches millions of American lives actually operates. The American people deserve no less than the absolute truth.”
Last month, Steinbaum and the Roosevelt Institute released a report about the ways excessive corporate power distorts the economy: Powerless: How Lax Antitrust and Concentrated Market Power Rig the Economy Against American Workers, Consumers, and Communities. Steinbaum’s perspectives on this and other economy policy debates have been featured extensively in outlets recently, including the Washington Post, TheStreet, The Week, and The Nation. He is available for media requests.
About the Roosevelt Institute
Until the rules work for every American, they’re not working. The Roosevelt Institute asks: what does a better society look like? Armed with a bold vision for the future, we push the economic and social debate forward. We believe that those at the top hold too much power and wealth, and that our economy will be stronger when that changes. Ultimately, we want our work to move the country toward a new economic and political system: one built by many for the good of all.
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