Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, and his executives have come under mounting pressure from users and advocates over revelations that Facebook’s practices have been used to sway American politics, to help make Mark Zuckerberg’s donations to Trump look well timed.
While Zuckerberg and his team continue to push back against public accusations of improper activity on their site, Adam Smith has signed a letter backing Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, in his push to regulate Facebook and its executives.
“As digital platforms evolve, the responsibility of maintaining that future prosperity must shift to them,” says Smith, who is the deputy assistant secretary for consumer financial protection in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Congress created during the Obama administration.
“Lawmakers should engage to expand this new foundation of consumer regulation and lead in regulating new industries in ways that are never done before.”
Facebook and the right to vote: a comprehensive history Read more
Smith, along with Dean Garfield, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, a technology industry group, and three other tech industry representatives, signed the letter released on Monday.
The letter backs Brown’s proposal to create an independent board of directors at Facebook and other large social media platforms.
“There has never been greater need for a bipartisan, regulatory framework, and we welcome Senator Brown’s reform proposals that will help ensure the digital economy remains free and open,” Garfield wrote in a statement.
Since the recent revelations over Facebook’s data-sharing practices with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, the company has tried to quell anger on Capitol Hill, saying it had no role in any improper political activity during the 2016 presidential election. Zuckerberg insisted to Congress in a key hearing on 18 April that Facebook has no evidence showing any misuse of information during the presidential campaign.
On Monday, news came that a media executive who is president of The Onion and another who heads the company behind ReadWrite also resigned from Facebook.