Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

Sen Cortez Masto Introduces Bill to Protect Americans' Data Privacy

Sen Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Digital Accountability and Transparency to Advance (DATA) Privacy Act to strengthen data privacy protections for American consumers. The legislation would:

Facebook to Rebrand Company as Meta in Focus on Metaverse

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would change its name to Meta to reflect growth opportunities beyond its namesake social-media platform in online digital realms known as the metaverse. “Over time I hope our company will be seen as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said. “We’ve gone from desktop to web to phones, from text to photos to video, but this isn’t the end of the line.

Advocacy Groups Urge FTC to Act Against Data Abuses and Discrimination

45 civil-rights, media-democracy and consumer-advocacy groups called on Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan to initiate a rulemaking to safeguard privacy, promote civil rights and set guardrails against the abuse of data online. Discriminatory and abusive data practices are prevalent across the digital economy, the groups wrote

Sens Blumenthal and Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms' Negative Impact on Teens and Children

Sens Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, announced that their subcommittee would take additional steps to look into Facebook’s knowledge of its platforms’ negative impact on teenagers and young users. “It is clear that Facebook is incapable of holding itself accountable," the senators stated.

Facebook Faces a Public Relations Crisis. What About a Legal One?

The most pressing questions is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission — the federal agency where Ms. Haugen sent the documents — will significantly add to Facebook’s woes. Whistle-blowers have filed at least nine complaints to the agency, which has oversight of public companies like Facebook, using a selection of the internal documents to argue that Facebook misled investors with a rosier picture of the company than they knew to be true.

Senator Blumenthal says Facebook is deceitful, calls for accountability

Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) tore into Facebook, calling the company’s stated attitudes on regulation a sham. “What we are hearing from Facebook is platitudes and bromides," Blumenthal stated. "When it says it wants regulation, at the same time it is fighting that regulation tooth and nail, day and night, with armies of lawyers, millions of dollars in lobbying.

Facebook staff complained for years about their lobbyists’ power

Facebook says it does not take the political winds of Washington (DC) into account when deciding what posts to take down or products to launch. But a trove of internal documents shows that Facebook’s own employees are concerned that the company does just that — and that its DC-based policy office is deeply involved in these calls at a level not previously reported.

Facebook’s Internal Chat Boards Show Politics Often at Center of Decision Making

Many Republicans say Facebook discriminates against conservatives. But internal communications at the company show that employees and their bosses have hotly debated whether and how to restrain right-wing publishers, with more-senior employees often providing a check on agitation from the rank and file. The documents, which don’t capture all of the employee messaging, didn’t mention equivalent debates over left-wing publications.

Twitter admits bias in algorithm for rightwing politicians and news outlets

Twitter has admitted it amplifies more tweets from rightwing politicians and news outlets than content from leftwing sources. The company examined tweets from elected officials in seven countries – the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Japan. It also studied whether political content from news organisations was amplified on Twitter, focusing primarily on US news sources such as Fox News, the New York Times and BuzzFeed.