Mark Zuckerberg Has Lost Control of Facebook
There can be little doubt that monopoly control over millions of people’s personal data and the flow of news and information online poses a clear and present threat to democracy. And Facebook’s management has shown time and again that it cannot be trusted to behave responsibly.
BRUSSELS – When Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Facebook, appeared before the European Parliament in May, I suggested to him that he had lost control of his company. As one of the few politicians ever to have confronted Zuckerberg in person, I was happy for the opportunity. But, much to my frustration, I did not receive a direct verbal response to any of my questions.
I am not alone. Politicians around the world have grown tired of Facebook’s constant attempts to avoid accountability in the name of profits. With Facebook, the myth of “self-regulation,” long trotted out by high-paid lobbyists, has been laid to rest once and for all. It has been months since Zuckerberg appeared before the US Congress and the European Parliament, and the most urgent questions about Facebook’s business practices remain unanswered.
With respect to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is still unclear what Facebook knew, and when it knew it. Equally unclear is the extent to which foreign interference through Facebook contributed to the election of US President Donald Trump, and to the outcome of the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum.