Facebook has been under a lot of pressure over the last few years, and it reached a fever pitch after the Christchurch mosque shooter live streamed his attack on one of the mosques in the social network. Recently, the company’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has called on governments to bring in a more comprehensive regulatory environment against hate speech, privacy breaches, fake news and other forms of controversial content. It is a tempting offer considering the fact that the biggest tech companies in the world detest any kind of government intervention, however, it comes across as a bit of grandstanding since Facebook has been acting against such regulations in the state of Washington for quite some time.
Zuckerberg has stated that he would welcome government intervention regarding political campaigning on Facebook, but when the Public Disclosure Commission of the state of Washington brought in regulations pertaining to political advertising, the lobbyists for the company fought against it. The company fought against those regulations tooth and nail, and after the company’s loss, their legal representative went on to state that Facebook’s conduct as a company is beyond the purview of the laws of the state of Washington. However, state legislators do not believe that is the case.
In his blog post published last week, he wrote, “I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.” Considering the actions of his own company with regards to the same regulatory measures in Washington, it looks a bit galling. On top of that, it is believed that the founder of Facebook is probably appealing to national governments but if the different states in the United States start imposing their own regulatory policies on the company after this appeal, and then the company will have a new set of hurdles in its path. The Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson has stated in the past that Facebook has been ignoring political campaigning regulations in the state for a long time and if the company is serious about its change of hears, then perhaps the state can start imposing those regulations again.