🚧 The long path waiting for the lawmakers who want Facebook reform
To experts viewing Facebook’s response to its latest crises, a certain comparison comes to mind, and it’s not a pretty one.
“Facebook and Big Tech are facing a Big Tobacco moment,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, according to the NYT.
People think it’s an apt comparison for many reasons: As The Verge points out, Facebook has tried discrediting whistleblower Frances Haugen, who released documents leading to much of the new info on Facebook, without refuting her key points. Tobacco company Brown and Williamson did the same thing to a whistleblower in the early days of the crusade against tobacco.
Zuckerberg has also disappeared: As his company reels, he has made few attempts at correcting the record.
What a Big Tobacco path means for reform
When politicians quickly jumped on Big Tobacco decades ago, change didn’t happen all at once. It took 10 years before any meaningful regulations took hold.
Similarly, new rules and regulations may come for Facebook but they will likely be piece by piece and unlikely to satisfy all the company’s many critics.
The most likely changes for Facebook or other Big Tech companies include proposals from lawmakers to regulate advertising more closely, strengthen child privacy laws and to rethink antitrust laws to make tech companies more vulnerable. Again, don’t expect anything soon.