Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) called for regulation of social networks on Wednesday, claiming, “No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t.”
“Not only do they guide what we see, read and buy on a regular basis, but their dominance specifically in the market of information now requires that we consider their role in the integrity of our democracy,” declared Sen. Franken during an event hosted by the Open Markets Institute. “The power of these companies sometimes scares me.”
“No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t,” he continued. “And Facebook, Google and Amazon, like ISPs, should be neutral in their treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their platform.”
Despite his criticism of social networks choosing what people do and don’t see, Sen. Franken simultaneously attacked the companies for failing “to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation and hate speech.”
In an article for the Guardian, which was posted following the event on Wednesday, Sen. Franken added, “It doesn’t require an antitrust lawyer to understand that these companies’ dominance in the market of information gives them tremendous power to dictate terms with journalists, publishers, and authors and to control the information available to consumers.”
Last month, Axios claimed Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, a supporter of regulating Big Tech, “is railing against the ‘Lords of Silicon Valley,'” while it was also reported that Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress following the increased threat of regulation.
According to CNBC, “Google spent $4.17 million lobbying Congress this most recent quarter,” while, “Facebook spent $2.85 million,” and “Twitter spent $120,000.”
In October, the CEO of a popular advertising company called Google a “dictator” in the ad market, while a Vice News report announced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to “influence American politics for generations to come.”