Is it a neutral platform – ‘a platform for all ideas’ – or is it a content provider – a publisher?
Facebook is employing 15,000 – rising this year to 20,000 – ‘content checkers’ and with 20k people editing content it is no longer a neutral platform and, if some ideas are being censored, then it’s not a platform for all ideas.
Zuckerberg said Facebook doesn’t know the personal political bias of the content checkers so, although the company is a content provider, it is not in control of its content.
Facebook says users have control over their own data but the Senate hearing showed that the 14,000 word terms and conditions seem to say that Facebook can do what it likes with your data.
Senators pointed out that what Facebook likes to do with your data is to monetise it. While the company may not sell your data directly, it uses your data to help advertisers deliver targeted ads.
Although Facebook says it safeguards personal data, Zuckerberg admitted that other people, like developers, can take your data off Facebook whereupon Facebook has no control over it.
When Senators pointed out these dichotomies, Zuckerberg’s response was either to say the company was working on solving the issues, or that AI tools currently in development would solve the issues, or that his team would work with Senators to find solutions.