Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who earlier this week called on Facebook to stop recommending political groups, praised the platforms decision to do just that, but signaled he would be verifying because he did not exactly trust it to follow through.
In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Jan. 26, Markey said he was concerned by reports that Facebook was used to help plan the January Capitol insurrection despite promises from the company to him at an Oct. 28 oversight hearing they it would stop recommending political groups to users.
Zuckerberg reportedly announced aon an earnings call Wednesday (Jan. 27) that it would no longer recommend either civic or political groups to users.
“I am pleased to see that Facebook is heeding my calls and has pledged to permanently stop recommending political groups to its users, as a matter of policy,” said Markey in a statement Thursday (Jan 28). “Frankly, though, Facebook has a record of broken promises, and I’ll be watching closely to see whether it keeps this commitment. It’s clear that Facebook groups have become online spaces that foster political violence and serve as venues for misinformation that sows unrest. Given what we know about the real world harms that social media platforms’ recommendation algorithms can foster, it’s time for significant changes to these websites’ systems.”
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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