House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Facebook during her press conference, calling the company’s behavior “shameful” and accusing the tech giant of being “irresponsible”. Over the past several years, Facebook has been involved in a number of litigations regarding digital privacy, electoral interference and antitrust regulation, and other issues..
San Francisco’s Pelosi responded to a question about whether she thinks tech executives like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have too much power, fueling concerns about the impact of big tech companies on society..
«Facebook’s business model is purely about making money, she said. “They don’t care about the influence on children, they don’t care about the truth. They don’t care where it all comes from».
Facebook has come under increased scrutiny in recent years on privacy and security-related issues, potentially anti-competitive business practices, its role in securing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and its stance on free speech and content moderation. For example, Facebook’s decision not to screen actual ads recently has led to backlash from both Facebook employees themselves and politicians such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez..
In her response during a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi specifically pointed to the thousands of fake advertisements allegedly paid for by Russian parties that were posted on Facebook ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election..
«They didn’t even check money from Russia in the last election, Pelosi said. “They didn’t even think they should do it. So they were very irresponsible».
She also said that Facebook intends «complicit in misleading the American people».
Pelosi’s comments highlight concerns that have emerged among lawmakers and regulators over the past year over whether the size and reach of companies like Facebook can make them too influential. Warren, in particular, has been a strong supporter of regulation of big tech companies, as last March she proposed a massive plan to split big tech companies and cancel certain acquisitions, such as Facebook purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram..
Zuckerberg has said in the past that he supports regulation, suggesting in a Washton Post article from last March that the internet should be regulated when it comes to harmful content, fair elections, and data trading..