Steven Hill, a former policy director at the Center for Humane Technology, suggested that Facebook issue use “permits.”
Hill detailed his thoughts in an op-ed for Project Syndicate.
“Digital operating permits,” Hill said, would “address big tech’s monopoly problem” and “protect users.” His reasoning includes a prediction that limiting content to 1,000 people would not be “a deprivation.”
“A digital permit could help reduce the major social-media platforms’ market share by imposing strict limits on audience size: each piece of user-generated content could be served to, say, no more than 1,000 people,” suggested Hill. “That is many more people than most users actually know or have regular contact with, so it hardly constitutes a deprivation.”
Hill said that while the antitrust movement “has merits,” Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp would still be “behemoths” on their own.
He added that there would be exceptions for “legitimate news, information, music, and videos from leaders, artists, and thinkers.” Hill also suggested that social media platforms use employees to monitor even more content:
“Tech platforms already have teams of human moderators – Facebook employs 15,000 – who could be tasked with identifying such 'public-interest content.' This approach would reduce the spread of fake news and disinformation by introducing necessary friction in the information flow, and would be a far better use of moderators’ time than continuing to play whack-a-lie.”
Hill’s suggestions came after some on the left have criticized Facebook for not doing enough to combat so-called “misinformation.”
“I’ve long compared Facebook to Big Tobacco and here’s the latest parallel: Facebook knew internally that it was facilitating the deaths of thousands of people through misinformation, and not only did nothing about it, but withheld its knowledge from public,” Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent and current CNN analyst tweeted.
Rangappa called on state attorney generals to sue Facebook over alleged COVID-19 “misinformation.”
“Forget legislation and regulation. Zuck needs a good tort lawsuit brought by AGs of states whose COVID numbers are through the roof because Facebook knowingly serves as a conduit for false info...” she continued.
The comments came after President Joe Biden bizarrely accused Facebook of “killing people.”
“They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” he said.
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