If you were hoping this week would bring a break from Facebook news, sorry to dash your hopes.
Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters. Photo: Facebook
Some Silicon Valley giants privately welcome a bit of regulation if it hurts Facebook more than themselves. But they also worry that any brush regulators use on Facebook could also tar them.
Smaller companies and startups have a different fear: regulations designed to rein in big companies often end up crafted in ways those firms can live with — but upstart rivals can't.
One CEO's take: I spoke with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue about this on Friday. While he's eager to see a shift toward more human intervention in the algorithms that decide which news people see, he would rather see the tech industry taking the lead.
"It's much more healthy when companies have a clear values system they uphold," he said. "Regulations can always be worked around."
The Trump factor: Plus, he said, he isn't keen on letting the government settle issues of what is and isn't OK.
"Do we really want the Trump administration deciding what regulations are?" McCue said. "This could create an excuse for creating regulatory frameworks that hurt free speech on the open internet."
Yes, but: If there is regulation, McCue said: "Hopefully it is targeted around controlling personal information as opposed to restricting the ability for free speech to happen on internet platforms."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Lawmakers will get the chance to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week about the company’s data practices, its role in elections, and whatever else is on their mind. Here’s your cheat sheet for which ones to watch, thanks to Axios' David McCabe.
The big picture: Members of the 3 committees questioning Zuckerberg will all recognize that it’s a rare chance to take their Facebook criticisms straight to its founder and get the media attention that comes along with that.
Here are a few more things that happened in Facebook-land this weekend:
Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, speaking at the 2016 New York Times DealBook conference. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge says inconsistent privacy protections undermines consumer confidence online — and that’s bad for business. So he’s calling on Congress to pass strong online privacy rules that apply to all online players, Kim Hart reports.
What Charter is pushing for:
Why it matters: Rutledge is the first CEO of a major internet service provider to endorse an “opt-in” online privacy law that would apply to web platforms like Facebook as well as ISPs like Charter, which is the second-largest broadband provider in the country. Expect Zuckerberg to be asked about this idea tomorrow.
Remember: ISPs did not like FCC’s privacy rules that required them to get customers’ consent before sharing their data. One big sticking point for them was that the FCC’s rules didn't extend to digital advertising powerhouses like Google and Facebook. ISPs successfully lobbied Congress to repeal those rules last year.
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