According to reports, Facebook will rebrand its firm in an attempt to become renowned for anything other than social networking and the problems it causes.
According to The Verge, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will discuss the name during the annual Connect conference on October 28th, although it is possible that the name may be announced sooner. The Facebook app, on the other hand, would become a product of the parent business, much like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and other similar services.
Another goal is for Facebook to be renowned for something other than “social media and all of the problems that come with it,” as The Verge puts it. This follows the publication of internal studies and papers by Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen (former Product Manager), which revealed that the company was aware of the “toxic” effects of its social media on individuals, but did little to address the issue at the time.
Haugen spoke before Congress shortly after, pressing senators to take immediate action. In a subsequent statement, Zuckerberg said that technology businesses “should develop experiences that suit their requirements while keeping people safe.” In spite of the fact that he supported Congress taking action, he said that the evidence painted a “false image of the corporation.”
Some, though, have expressed skepticism about Haugen’s motivations. Due to the fact that most whistle-blowers face scorn (usually from news outlets fearing legal repercussions for publishing allegations, and lobbyists allegedly discouraging senators from pursuing matters), some believed Haugen’s receiving a large amount of media attention, approval from Congress, and even an indirect endorsement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was suspicious.
According to the National Pulse, Haugen had given 36 times to the Democratic Party and indicated that her whistle-blowing was likely sponsored by individuals who were interested in regulating social media platforms (such as the Democrat party under the guise of combating extremism and hate, they allege).
It has also been suggested that Haugen’s appeal to ban Facebook applications from “destabilizing democracy” is intended to denounce individuals who have criticized irregularities in the 2019 US election and following audit. Along with previously promoting diversity in hiring and services at companies such as Pinterest, Gigster, and Google, the Daily Wire revealed that Haugen has been associated with attorneys who campaigned against former US President Donald Trump during his campaign.
Whistleblower Aid is representing Haugen in this matter. As reported by the New York Times, they also represented a national security official who claimed that Trump had pressured the president of Ukraine to find evidence that Joe Biden (then Vice President) had attempted to blackmail officials into clearing his son Hunter Biden of any wrongdoing in the Burisma Holdings investigations.
More information on this may be found in our story on how Twitter and Facebook censored the “smoking gun” New York Post piece, which was supposedly based on emails allegedly from Hunter’s laptop.
Haugen is apparently receiving “strategic communications direction” from the public relations firm Bryson Gillette, which is led by former Barack Obama adviser Bill Burton and is said to be staffed by “a boatload of Democratic operatives,” according to the Daily Wire. The corporation has also backed the Center for Humane Technology in the past, which has lobbied for restrictions on Facebook and other social media platforms.
According to ethics filings obtained by The Daily Wire, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also worked as a senior adviser for Bryson Gillette from September 2016 to September 2020, where one of her clients was the Center for Humane Technology. Psaki was also a senior adviser for Bryson Gillette from September 2016 to September 2020.
Further, Zuckerberg has been accused of lobbying for tougher laws as well as control on the internet. According to Politico, Zuckerberg’s written testimony in March of this year urged for internet platforms to establish systems to detect and remove unlawful information, and to remove liability protections if companies do not comply with the requirement (section 230 of the Communications Decency Act).
However, legislators from both the Republican and Democratic parties rejected the plan, describing it as a “political distraction” that would benefit Facebook by hampering the competition, according to Politico.
“Zuckerberg is well aware that pulling down Section 230 would entrench Facebook’s position as the leading social media firm and make it far more difficult for new companies to threaten his cash cow,” said Sen. Ron Wyden. Sen. Wyden was a co-author of Section 230 in the 1990s, and he has been a staunch opponent of moves by Congress to undermine the legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Marsha Blackburn warned that “Section 230 reform would impact Facebook regardless of what these self-interested Silicon Valley CEOs desire.” Blackburn has previously recommended eliminating safeguards to address alleged anti-conservative prejudice by digital firms. “Big Tech is only interested in change if it would increase its dominance at the cost of their rivals.”
Many other senators expressed concern that Zuckerberg’s proposal was too broad, would disproportionately harm small businesses (though Zuckerberg did suggest that immunity requirements could be “proportionate to platform size”), did not get at the heart of the issues, or was designed solely to protect Facebook’s profits with the smallest amount of change possible.
For all of the reasons stated above, Haugen may be considered a megaphone for Zuckerberg, offering precisely the proper testimony to support the claimed agenda Zuckerberg desired. Others might see Haugen as a tool of left-wing forces who are attempting to impose censorship in order to assist the Democratic Party.
Despite this, all of the claims made above are unsubstantiated. Only the future acts of Congress and Facebook, or whatever name it goes by, will reveal the direction in which the internet is heading.
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