News Response #9

This article in The Economist titled “Why is Mark Zuckerberg testifying in Congress?” discusses Facebook’s current scandal. Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in front of a Congressional committee on April 10th and 11th to address Facebook’s flaws and some of the repercussions that the scandal has had on American life. As mentioned in my post last week, Cambridge Analytica, a data collection firm, improperly utilized data collected from some 90 million Facebook and subsequently sold it to Trump’s campaign and other harmful companies. With this data, Trump’s campaign team and other parties (potentially Russia) could launch specific advertisements to voters/consumers. In response to the overwhelming criticism that Facebook is receiving, Mark Zuckerberg is fielding questions in front of Congress. He and his company have promised to put more safeguards in place, but many believe that America should take action by legally regulating the site similar to the EU’s actions going into effect next month. The article questions if this scandal will truly affect Facebook’s long term business model centered around collecting data, if regulations will go into effect in the U.S., and if businesses will even move away from their advertisement deals with Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram. Personally, I believe that Facebook will need to make significant changes to their model’s dependency on manipulating the data of its users, its interface in order to protect from advertisements from harmful parties, and its transparency with the public about its practices. Further, the United States needs to take significant steps to regulate Facebook so that it will push the company towards these changes. The American government can gain insight from the attributes and negative aspects of the EU’s regulations in order to make more helpful and fair laws. The wellness of the American people needs to be a priority and the Cambridge Analytica scandal has clearly showcased how Facebook has harmed our community.