Tuesday’s groundbreaking Senate hearing by a former Facebook product manager highlighted critical problems within the influential technology company. The hearing also showcased another rare phenomenon: bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill.
“I will not stand by while our kids, our health and our democracy become collateral damage in the profit game being played by Facebook and other platforms. There is growing momentum on both sides of the aisle to take action, and I believe Frances Haugen’s testimony will be a true catalyst,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told USA TODAY on Wednesday.
The White House reiterated that President Joe Biden supports significant changes to Section 230 after the hearing, as well as reforms on the nation’s antitrust laws and data privacy issues.
“More needs to be done, reform should happen, we also need to do more on privacy and antitrust, and certainly watching testimony yesterday raised a lot of those issues again,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a news briefing.
For years, Facebook navigated scandal after scandal, emerging bruised but seemingly indomitable as efforts by lawmakers and regulators to rein in the social media giant were bungled.
Yet the consensus of outrage on display at the hearing, as well as the line of questioning taken by lawmakers, indicates a shift in dynamics. Has Facebook’s moment of political reckoning finally come?