Jul 29, 2020 - Technology

Cicilline to Zuckerberg: Facebook too big to contain deadly content

A photo of a TV screen in the U.S. Capitol as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in an antitrust hearing via video conference.
Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool via Getty Images

The chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee Wednesday told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook has grown too big to contain dangerous content.

Why it matters: Facebook has grappled with high-profile cases of dangerous misinformation, such as a recent video with debunked coronavirus information that got to 20 million views before Facebook took it down. Rep. David Cicilline is suggesting Facebook as currently constituted may be fundamentally incapable of responsible moderation.

What he's saying: “Your platform is so big, even with the right policies in place, you can’t contain deadly content," the Rhode Island Democrat said. "Frankly, I believe it strikes at the very heart of American democracy."

  • Cicilline pointed out that inflammatory and false articles often get a lot of engagement on Facebook. Keeping people on the Facebook platform is a key business strategy of the company and helps it serve more ads.

The other side: Zuckerberg responded that Facebook has a responsibility to limit the spread of harmful content and that there's no incentive for the platform to house that kind of content.

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