VIRGINIA (WDVM) – Virginia Senator Tim Kaine calls for more regulations on social media conglomerates like Facebook after the platform suffered a multi-hour outage on Monday.
Senator Kaine told reporters that Facebook and companies like it cannot be trusted to self-regulate. He says they have historically tolerated the spread of disinformation on topics such as the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines, as well as the false information that has led to the violence.
“We cannot trust companies like Facebook to self-regulate,” Senator Kaine said. “What I’m looking for is: what are the right solutions that we can put in place to put on the shoulders of Facebook and other companies legal obligations to monitor themselves because they will not monitor themselves without us.”
He says turning to previous legislation that regulates social media platforms to prevent online sex work and human traffickers might be a possible solution. He cited the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, or FOSTA, and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, as examples of such regulatory legislation.
Senator Kaine said these pieces of legislation could provide a model that would put the onus on social media companies to “withhold false information that may promote violence will lead to significant public danger.”
I think there is at least one model that we can explore to use, perhaps as a model to impose appropriate regulations on businesses and not allow them to be the vehicle to perpetuate a dangerous lie, ”said the senator. Kaine to reporters. “And so I would like to work with my colleagues to try to find a way to do it in accordance with everyone’s rights under the First Amendment.”
The outage of Facebook and its related platforms like Whatsapp and Instagram lasted around 6 hours on Monday.