VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is calling for more regulations on social media conglomerates like Facebook after the platform suffered an hours-long outage on Monday.
Senator Kaine told reporters that Facebook and companies like it can’t be trusted to regulate themselves. He says they have historically condoned the spread of misinformation about topics like the Coronavirus pandemic and vaccines as well as false information that has lead to violence.
“We cannot trust companies like Facebook to regulate themselves,” Sen. Kaine said. “What I am looking for are: what are the right solutions we can put in place to put legal obligations on the shoulders of Facebook and other companies to police themselves because they won’t police themselves without us.”
He says that looking to previous legislation that regulates social media platforms to prevent the work of online sex and human traffickers could 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.
Sen. Kaine stated that those pieces of legislation could provide a model that would put the responsibility on the shoulders of social media companies to “keep out false information that is likely to promote violence will lead to significant public danger.”
I think there is at least a model out there that we can explore to use, possibly as a template to put appropriate regulations on companies and not allow them to be the vehicle for perpetuating a dangerous falsehood,” Sen. Kaine told reporters. “And so I would like to work together with my colleagues to try to figure out a way to do that consistent with everybody’s First Amendment rights.”
The outage of Facebook and its related platforms like Whatsapp and Instagram lasted for approximately 6 hours on Monday.