Jun 18, 2019

Congress members express concerns over Facebook's cryptocurrency

Facebook's annual F8 conference in San Jose, Calif.f. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After Facebook unveiled plans for its own cryptocurrency, Congress members including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and fellow committee member Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) called for the tech company to testify and push pause on the project.

Why it matters: Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project is ambitious, but hinges on regulatory approval if it wants to enable users to convert the currency to and from fiat money.

What they're saying:

  • “Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data,” Waters said in a statement according to Reuters. “With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.”
  • “Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, in a statement per Reuters. "We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight."

Others like Sen. Mark Warner, as well as regulators in foreign countries, also expressed concern about the project.

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Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.