Facebook Wants to Fix Itself. Here's a Better Solution.

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[Commentary] Where significant negative externalities are created, companies should be on the hook for the costs, just as an oil company is responsible for covering the costs of cleaning up a spill. The cost of the damage caused by election meddling is difficult to calculate. One possible solution is a two-strike rule: with the first strike, you fix the problem and, if possible, pay a fine; with the second strike, government regulators will change or remove the features that are being abused. Only with financial liability and the direct threat of feature-level regulation will companies prioritize decision-making that protects society from the worst kinds of harm.

Given what is at stake in the upcoming elections and beyond, we must not accept distraction and empty contrition in place of real change that will protect us. Only with real transparency, real accountability, and real regulation will we get real change. There is too much at stake to accept anything less.

[Sandy Parakilas is an entrepreneur and worked at Facebook in 2011 and 2012]

 

 


Facebook Wants to Fix Itself. Here's a Better Solution.