May 12, 2019

Kamala Harris: "We need to seriously take a look" at breaking up Facebook

2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris told CNN's Jake Tapper that "we need to seriously take a look" at breaking up Facebook, which she claimed is "essentially a utility that has gone unregulated."

"I think Facebook has experienced massive growth and has prioritized its growth over the best interest of its consumers, especially on the issue of privacy. There's no question in my mind that there needs to be serious regulation and that has not been happening. ... When you look at the issue, they're essentially a utility. There are very few people that can get by and be involved in their communities or society or in whatever their profession without somehow, somewhere using Facebook. It's very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without it. We have to recognize it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I'm concerned, that's got to stop."

The big picture: Harris was responding to New York Times op-ed by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who said that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "human. But it’s his very humanity that makes his unchecked power so problematic." Harris, who as California's senator represents the 5th largest economy in the world, also told Tapper that she would not have voted for NAFTA.

  • Harris' view on Facebook is slightly softer than that of fellow 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has already outlined her specific plan to break up Big Tech platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon if elected.

Go deeper: How the past is shaping Big Tech's future

Go deeper

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health