Facebook keeps asking for regulation that would crush its competition

From the Washington Examiner's 'Restoring America' Project


Repost: Tim Carney’s piece at the Washington Examiner, as part of their Restoring America Project

Nick Clegg, the British politico turned Facebook spokesman, went on CNN over the weekend to ask for stricter regulation of online platforms.

This isn’t new, and the reactions to it are typical. “ Even Facebook ” wants more government regulation of internet platforms, the pro-regulation forces noted.

More important than its ability to fool is Facebook’s ability to fool lawmakers into thinking, Well, if the regulated body wants regulation, it must be good! Not so.

In 2018, the Washington Examiner noted that Sen. Lindsey Graham and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had this back-and-forth:

“Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is more pro-business than most, asked Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, if he welcomes regulation of his business. ‘If it’s the right regulation, yes,’ Zuckerberg said.

‘Would you submit to us some proposed regulations?’ Graham asked him.”

A year later, Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed declaring, “We need a more active role for governments and regulators.”

Read these two passages to see what is going on:

“Facebook already publishes transparency reports on how effectively we’re removing harmful content. I believe every major Internet service should do this quarterly, because it’s just as important as financial reporting.”

“Second, legislation is important for protecting elections. Facebook has already made significant changes around political ads .”

That is, Facebook points to things on which it spends lots of money and then says that all competitors and future competitors should have to shell out these same costs.

Read the full article at the Washington Examiner