WATCH: Senators From Both Parties Speculate About Regulating Facebook

screenshot from CNN

On Tuesday, GOP senator John Kennedy of Louisiana and Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota spoke on CNN about the scandal that has erupted over Facebook since The Guardian revealed that Cambridge Analytica hired an analytics team back in 2014 to provide profile data on roughly 50 million Facebook users.

The Guardian posited that Cambridge Analytica’s efforts helped Donald Trump win the presidency. Although it has been pointed out that Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, admitted that the campaign was able to mine Facebook's data to Obama’s advantage, Democrats are in a panic to get Facebook to stop allowing non-Democratic-approved content. In February, Wired ran a story about the political pressure campaign against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Additionally, The Western Journal conducted a study of Facebook traffic data showing Facebook's recent changes to its newsfeed algorithm had a far greater deleterious effect on conservative sites than liberal sites.

With all of that evidence, Klobuchar and Kennedy jointly said that it is time for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Klobuchar said, "I think he should explain to the American people how this happened, how many people were hurt, and most importantly, how they are going to fix it. because you just can't have 50 million Americans have their private data exposed without their permission. ... I think you have a product which has been designed without a lock or without an alarm, and big surprise, some of the bad guys have gotten in. And so he needs to explain that as well as the fact that we don't get support for our Honest Ads Act that I had with Senator McCain and Warner which would simply put the social media sites on the same rules of the game as you see for print, media, and radio/TV ads."

Kennedy added, "Well, Facebook's a great company, but it's no longer a company; it's a country. That's how powerful it is, and its behavior lately has kind of been getting into the foothills of creepy. My interests are larger than Cambridge Analytica; I want to know to what extent, if any, those of us on Facebook live in a contrived universe created by Facebook, sort of like Truman on "The Truman Show." I want to know if Facebook's been a good steward of our data; I want to talk with Facebook about the bargain we struck with Facebook; we know what we get: we get free access to the site. What does Facebook get? And finally, I want to explore how we preserve the good things about Facebook, and there are good things, but how we preserve the good things about Facebook while thwarting the bad things: the abuse of data, the spreading of poison on the internet. Of course, the problem is that you get into First Amendment issues. ..."

A little later, Kennedy asked, "What’s the proper role of Facebook in our world today? What, if any, regulation should we ask Facebook to apply? Is Facebook willing to solve these problems on its own or do we have to give them a nudge?”

Video below:

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