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  • Geebo 9:34 am on September 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Congress, , Libya,   

    Is the outlook for Facebook not so good? 

    Is the outlook for Facebook not so good?

    As I write this, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is set to testify before Congress about Facebook’s role in alleged election meddling by foreign opportunists. She is expected to stay the course set by CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he testified before Congress claiming to right the wrongs that Facebook supposedly allowed. However, this week’s news has not been too kind to Facebook as it faces a crucial point in its history.

    For example, after announcing that Facebook had removed multiple accounts of foreign agitators in Russia and Iran, The Daily Beast is reporting that many of the Russian operatives banned by Facebook have found their way back on to the platform. It appears that Facebook’s protocols from keeping such entities off their network amount to that of a revolving door.

    Speaking of Facebook’s foreign relations, according to the New York Times, Facebook is a major contributing factor to the internal strife and violence affecting Libya. Various armed and violent militias within Libya are using Facebook organize attacks and trade weapons. This is in addition to human traffickers who lure their victims through Facebook with the promise of smuggling them out of the country. Everytime Facebook deletes one of these pages, more pop up in its place.

    Back home in The States, the Pew Research Center has released an unflattering poll about Facebook’s usage in America. According to the poll, 42 percent of US Facebook users said they had taken a break from the platform in the past year while many others have deleted the Facebook app from their phone. While Facebook’s global numbers still far surpass any of their competitors this could show a stagnation in Facebook’s growth.

    Again, all of these are symptoms of the much larger problem of Facebook’s reach that has gotten out of their control. When you try to be the soapbox for the world, you have to be ready for the world’s problems and Facebook has shown time and time again that they are not ready.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on April 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Congress, , ,   

    Zuckerberg: Facebook is not a monopoly 

    Zuckerberg: Facebook is not a monopoly

    For the past two days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before both houses of Congress in regards to the data breaches and scandals that have been in the public eye since the 2016 Presidential election. Zuckerberg’s total testimony added up to about ten hours of testimony in total, and in that ten hours not a lot of progress was actually made as Mr. Zuckerberg either tried to deflect the questions asked of him or would offer a nebulous explanation of how Facebook works.

    However, that’s not to say there wasn’t some newsworthy information to come from Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony. When Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked if Zuckerberg thought Facebook was a monopoly, Zuckerberg responded with “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me.” When asked by Sen Dan Sullivan (R-AK) if Facebook was too powerful, Zuckerberg replied with the non-answer of “We need to have a conversation about the right regulation.” Yet in his testimony Zuckerberg claimed that “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

    As we have seen through the election meddling, the Cambridge Analytica breach, and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people through Facebook in Myanmar, the social media giant absolutely has too much power. It has so much power that Facebook isn’t even control of all of the power it possesses. The question that then needs to be asked is Mark Zuckerberg so insulated from his own company that he believes what he is telling Congress, or is he just an outright liar? No one man or company should hold such global power. Facebook needs to either rethink their business model or face possible regulatory wrath of Congress that hasn’t been seen since the breakup of AT&T.

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alphabet, Congress, , , ,   

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again 

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google to be called before Congress again

    Not too long ago, tech giants Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, were called to testify before Congress about their alleged roles in foreign meddling of the 2016 Presidential Election. Now those same companies are being asked to return to Washington to testify about their part in the dissemination of extremist propaganda. If you’ll recall, the tech companies did not do themselves any favors in their testimony over the Russian backed ads from the election.

    At that time, we asked if the CEOs of each respective company were afraid to appear before Congress themselves. It may appear that the answer to that question is yes, they are scared. Once again, instead of Larry Page, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg testifying before congress about their platforms we’ll instead have the heads of each company’s public policy department. Even though they have the records of the disastrous performance of their companies’ last representatives, I doubt this new crop of underlings will fare any better.

    This also comes on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg himself stating that Facebook is ‘broken’ in his pledge to fix the platform. If he’s aware of the problems that have befallen his ubiquitous network then why is he uncomfortable to appear before Congress to make these same promises? As the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thee companies indeed have absolute power over most of our daily lives. To not be completely transparent shows that they probably have many things to hide.

     
  • Greg Collier 11:04 am on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Congress, , Government Shutdown,   

    Note to Washington: Don’t Play Chicken with US 

    I usually try to keep my politics out of my business decisions – but after the Great Government Shutdown of 2013, I think it’s time to speak up.

    You see, when it comes to running my business, I am neither Republican or Democratic. I make decisions about how to run my business based on things like market demands, competitive forces and industry outlooks. I invest in my company when I can. I scale back when I must. But I never stop working.

    I may be my own boss – but I answer to many others when it comes to running my online classifieds site. My clients expect their products and services to appear in the right places so they can reach the right audience. The visitors to my site expect a certain experience when they arrive. My partners expect me to deliver on my end of our agreements.

    I guess that’s what frustrates me the most about the 16-day shutdown of the federal government. We are the people who the elected officials must answer to. We are their bosses, the people who put them into these positions of power and can have them removed. We are the ones who need to remind them that, if they continue to fail to do their jobs, they will lose them.

    I can’t imagine telling my partners that I won’t be paying my bills this month or turning away visitors to my site because of some internal strife among the grown-ups who make decisions about the future direction of the company.

    Frankly, that’s no way to run a business. And while I’ve never subscribed to the idea that a government can be run like a business, it’s also an unacceptable way to run a government. It doesn’t matter what the issue at-hand may be. You don’t shut the doors because you can’t make difficult decisions.

    Yes, Washington is in shambles. Yes, the politicians have corrupted themselves by allowing their motives to be driven by special interests with big checkbooks. Yes, we’re probably looking at another showdown on Capitol Hill when the next budget battle and debt ceiling fight come up again early next year.

    But the message we send now, ahead of the next big showdown should be that it’s never acceptable to use the country – whether it’s the credit rating or day-to-day operations – in a political game of chicken

    Certainly, we can all agree to disagree when it comes to how our government is run. Whether you think we can spend our way out of a recession or believe that drastic spending cuts are the way to prosperity doesn’t matter. How you feel about Obamacare, Medicare or the Department of Energy should not come into play.

    The message that all of us should be sending to Washington – regardless of our political leanings or beliefs – is that it’s never OK to shut the door to government or to become a deadbeat nation. It’s a good thing for the politicians that the government isn’t run like a business. If it were, they’d all be fired.

     
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