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.

Go deeper

Facebook, Instagram attach "false information" stamp to Tucker Carlson coronavirus clip

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Facebook and Instagram have placed a ”False Information” label on a post from the Fox News show "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in which Carlson interviews Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist, who has previously claimed the coronavirus "is not from nature," on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Facebook has made headlines in recent months for taking increasing action on posts from politicians and political groups containing misinformation. It's added fewer labels to high-profile media companies, which is what makes this label noteworthy.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 17, 2020 - Technology

Behind Facebook's giant bet on hardware

Photos: Facebook

Facebook's foray into virtual and augmented reality, which it doubled down on this week, is a bet on where the future of online social interaction is heading. But even more important to Facebook, it's also a plan to make sure the company owns a big piece of whatever platform ultimately supplants the smartphone.

Why it matters: In the smartphone era, Facebook has found itself at the mercy of Apple and — to a lesser degree — Google and Android phone makers. The company doesn't want to see history repeat itself.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 16, 2020 - Technology

Facebook updates Quest VR headset, will test sensors for AR glasses

Photo: Facebook

Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new version of its Oculus Quest and took the next step in a longer-term push toward augmented reality glasses.

Why it matters: Facebook has made big bets on virtual reality and augmented reality as key to its future and it is moving forward despite concerns from regulators and privacy advocates.

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