Stories by David McCabe

Facebook exec to policymakers: Regulate tech firms before China does

A man holds a microphone
Facebook executive Nick Clegg. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A top Facebook executive on Monday urged Europe and America to move towards regulating major internet companies — saying that if they don’t, the Chinese government will.

Why it matters: Policy and communications chief Nick Clegg’s comments delivered in Berlin are part of the social giant’s push to influence new regulations in areas like hateful content and data privacy.

AT&T plans complaint against TV stations over blackout disputes

AT&T's logo on a sign
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

AT&T will lodge a formal complaint with regulators against television station owners that, the company says, are refusing to negotiate terms for channels to be carried by its subsidiary DirecTV, resulting in blackouts for viewers.

Why it matters: The Federal Communications Commission generally does not intervene in private negotiations between programmers and the pay-TV stations that carry their content. But regulators could get involved when there are claims, as AT&T is making here, that parties are acting in bad faith.

Bill would open "biased" platforms to lawsuits

A new bill would open up platforms like YouTube and Facebook to lawsuits about content they host, unless federal regulators certified that their moderation of content was not "biased against a political party, political candidate, or political viewpoint."

Why it matters: This would be the most ambitious effort yet to limit platforms' longstanding protection from liability for user content they host (in 2017, Congress allowed lawsuits over sex trafficking). It also represents an escalation by conservatives who have claimed, with only anecdotal evidence, that Silicon Valley companies are suppressing their views.