European politicians call for Facebook probe after Reuters whistleblower release


ছবি Reuters file photo: This example, taken on March 25, 2020, has a 3D-printed Facebook logo on a keyboard.


BRUSSELS / STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Two members of the European Parliament have called for an investigation into allegations by Whistleblower that Facebook (Nasdaq 🙂 prioritizes profits over public welfare.

Whistleblower, Francis Hausen, who worked as a product manager on the Citizens Misinformation team on Facebook, shared internal documents with newspapers and the attorney general in several U.S. states.

A statement from European Parliament lawmakers said they were calling for further investigations into the revelations.

“The Facebook files – and the information presented to us by Whistleblower – suggest that we do not allow large technology companies to control themselves,” said Danish lawmaker Crystal Skaldemos.

Schaldemose, chief correspondent of the Digital Services Act, announced in December last year that European companies need to do more to tackle illegal content.

“The documents finally put all the information on the table to allow us to adopt a strong digital services law,” said Alexandra Geiss, a German lawmaker in the European Parliament.

“We need to control the whole system and the business model that favors confusion and violence over real content – and enables its rapid promotion,” he said.

Geese and Schaldemose both said they were in contact with Haugen.

A Facebook spokesperson said: “Every day, we make difficult decisions about where to draw the line between free speech and harmful speech, privacy, security and other issues.”

“But we should not make this decision on our own … We are speaking in favor of updated regulations where democratic governments set industry standards that we can all abide by.”

EU regulators are considering whether all online platforms, or only large platforms or their users, are at particular risk of illegal activity, and how much this should be indicative.

Asked about the allegations against Facebook, a European Commission spokesman said: “Our position is clear: the power of the main platform in public debate and social life must be subject to democratically valid rules, especially in terms of transparency and accountability.”

Tech companies say Police policing the Internet is unfair and technically impossible for them. The current EU-e-commerce guidelines state that intermediary service providers play a technical, automated and passive role.

Hausen is expected to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday and is expected to address a web summit in Portugal in early November.

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