Careful what you wish for
Mark Zuckerberg says he wants more regulation for Facebook
He might just get it
ON MARCH 30TH Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, wrote about his company’s future for the second time in a month. His first note, published March 6th, covered a range of planned technical changes to Facebook, WhatsApp and In青楼文娱攻略stagram. Then, in an article in the Washington Post, h崇礼气候e urged the world’s governments to regulate social networks. Specifically, he wants them to protect the public from harmful content (such as videos of m仙洋assacres), ensure the integrity of elections, guarantee that users can move their data between services, and underwrite users’ priv谌怎样读acy.上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全 诗经名句
Rich, you may think, coming from the boss of a firm accused of falling foul of all four precepts; on April 3rd it emerged that some user data had been stored on unsecured third-party servers. Mr Zuckerberg’s plea looks like an attempt to get ahead of tougher rules which could crimp 创伤化脓怎样处理Facebook’s earnings from selling targeted ads—just as its model faces fresh challenges.
On March 28th上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全 America’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accused Facebook of allo英语自学网wing advertisers to target property buyers by race, religion and other factors in what amounts to discrimination. This week a team led by researchers from Northeastern University in Boston presented work suggesting that Facebook’s algorithms may discriminate inadvertently, by optim解放j6ising engagement. In the algorithmic search for users who will respond most eagerly to a given advert, Facebook may automatical91撸ly exclude some users from minority groups.
Finely tailored ads are the source of the company’s fat profits; making them less precise could hurt margins. The HUD accusation came a week after Facebook settled a similar suit with the National Fair Housing Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union. Facebook said it was surprised by HUD’s charges, as it had been working with the department to prevent discrimination.
Instead, the company is talking up its own efforts to tackle Mr Zuckerberg’s four gripes. Last year he suggested creating an independent arbiter at arm’s length from the company to make hard decisions about what content is unacceptable. In the past nine months a dedicated team of Facebook employees has jetted around the world discu洛必达规律ssing how this might work. On April 对联生成器1st the firm opened a public consul上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全tation on the matter. Principles are likely to include giving the board’s members (who would probably number 40 or so) fixed compensation and shielding them from being sacked by Facebook.
Now it apparently wants to go further. “It would be good for the Internet上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全 if 长耀堂more countries adopted regulation such as GDPR as a comm胃的方位on framework,” Mr Zuckerberg mused in his op-ed, re魔兽剑圣异界纵横ferring to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation. He wants America to make internet firms including his own more accountable, “by imposing sanctions when we make mistakes”. M上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全r Zuckerberg added that he was ready to discuss new regulations with lawmakers around the world.
What counts as a mistake is, of course, open to interpretation. So, apparently, is readiness to talk. Facebook is currently appealing a ruling by Elizabeth Denham, Britain’s top privacy and data-protection regulator, about its handling of user古巨基亲历枪击案 data in the lead-up to the Brexit referendum in 2016. Mr Zucker解放战争berg has repeatedly ignored requests from British MPs to give evidence at committee hearings on Facebook’s role in the referendum. On April 1st Ms Denham called on the company to drop its appeal in light of Mr Zuckerberg’s new openness to regulation and accountability. There are no signs that Facebook plans to drop the appeal. Asked why its boss had not engaged with Brit工作总结怎样写ish lawmakers, the firm declined to comment.
It will take more than an article to make governments trust Mr Zuckerberg and his company. Politicians of all stripes in Europe and America are falling over themselves to sound tough on all 阿古斯之梦internet giants. For the time being, though, investors上门女婿,「经济学人」Careful what you wish for,生果大全’ confidence in Facebook remains resolute. Despite HUD’s discrimination claims, the company’s share price is buoyant.
This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline "Careful what you wish for" (Apr 4th 2019)