Saturday, December 4, 2021

Maryland congressman deactivates Facebook accounts in protest

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) – The Maryland Congressman announced Wednesday that he has deactivated his official Congressional accounts and Facebook and Instagram campaigns until their parent company and Congress implement significant reforms to protect children, health, and democratic values. …

Dutch Democratic member Ruppersberger said his decision followed alarming reports from whistleblowers about the company’s own research showing harm to democracy, adolescent mental health, and an increase in hate speech.

In a press release, Ruppersberger cited a report in The Washington Post that Facebook’s algorithm once viewed “angry” reactions as five times more valuable than “likes,” disproportionately promoting content that would likely include “misinformation. toxicity and poor quality. ” News.”

“Facebook’s basic business model is sowing division and misinformation, and I can no longer use it – and promote it through my official media – with a clear conscience at this time,” Ruppersberger said. “While Facebook needs to better control itself, Congress also needs to act and implement sensible social media reforms.”

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously disputed that whistleblower Francis Haugen portrays the company as a company that puts profit over the welfare of its users or promotes controversial content.

Ruppersberger said his Twitter account will remain active. He also stressed that he and his staff are ready to receive calls from voters, emails and even faxes.

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