A New York-led antitrust investigation into Facebook just got beefed up with an additional forty-six attorneys general. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the addition shows broad concerns that “Facebook may have put consumer data at risk reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, and increased the price of advertising.”
The Washington Post reports:
The state inquiry into Facebook comes in addition to two other antitrust investigations of the social-networking behemoth taking place in Washington, by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission…The agency is exploring the company’s past acquisitions, including Instagram and WhatsApp, for possible violations of antitrust law.
Social media and the internet has been a very powerful tool for the world’s most important issues, namely presidential elections, the spread of propaganda and recruitment by extremists and terrorists. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has consistently been on the defense. Perhaps antitrust inquiries can be the catalyst to fix a multitude of problems Facebook creates.
Yesterday, “Facebook unveiled new plans Monday to fight 2020 election interference. It will clearly label news that comes from state-owned media, and will give greater transparency for the origins of Facebook pages” reported NBC News after an interview with Zuckerberg.
“We do see today Russia and Iran and China increasingly with more sophisticated tactics are trying to interfere in election” said Zuckerberg. He added, “But part of why I’m confident going into 2020 is that we’ve played a role in defending against interference in every major election around the world since 2016.” His ultimate defense was “that we’ve been able to proactively identify them and take them down is somewhat of a signal that our systems are much more advanced now than they have been in the past.”