“To Sen. Mark Warner, it’s not a question of whether Congress will regulate the tech industry but when,” Ian Sherr reports for CNET. “The Virginia Democrat, who’s the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the more outspoken lawmakers on tech issues, told Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that he’s not convinced the tech industry can tackle election interference and bad behavior on their own. ‘The era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end,’ said he said during testimony Wednesday. ‘Where we go from here is an open question.’”
“Warner said in an interview he was also pleased his colleagues stepped up their game, coming to the hearing far more prepared than their colleagues did in April,” Sherr reports. “He was also disappointed with Google, which didn’t attend the hearing, despite an invitation being sent to its cofounder and parent company’s CEO Larry Page. ‘Google made a huge mistake by not attending our hearing,’ he said. ‘And all that will do is simply raise questions about certain areas beyond even Russian interference, that people want to ask questions on.’”
We have First Amendment rights in our country, but you can’t scream fire in a crowded theater. So, I think even the most zealous advocates of free speech, would realize there has to be some guard rails so you don’t scream fire, you don’t put up a sign that says go kill your neighbor, if he or she’s a Muslim.
Further up the food chain, do you allow a site to go out and say that Sandy Hook was all a hoax and I’m going to go ahead and print the parents addresses so that they are all harassed and threaten violence and many of these families have had to move and change their identity? You know, it’s not as clear cut. But, clearly they feel like the platform companies have thought some of that messaging was over the top. Now, that’s where that’s where we’ll have a debate and of course, we won’t get it 100 percent right at first, but there will at least be some innovation going on.
I don’t think we can completely rely upon simply the goodwill of the corporate shareholders or the management of these companies.
Because these companies have got such massive market domination, right now, I’m hesitant again, to intervene and possibly cut off American innovation, because right behind them, as we know, not sure most Americans realize, there are Chinese equivalents who are rapidly approaching the same size and scope and they will come with no protections. So that’s why I’m more willing to focus on changes like price transparency, like data portability, that really don’t get us into the First Amendment realm.
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