US Senators Suggest Legal Penalties for Non-Compliant Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms have started to see a much increased level of scrutiny these past few years, with particular emphasis being placed on Facebook which is now known as Meta. Meta has been quite evasive when confronted with the harm that its platforms often end up doing, instead preferring to publish research that was conducted internally. This unwillingness to share data with third parties can often get in the way of making social media as safe as people want it to be.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a bipartisan group of US senators have introduced a bill that might change things. This bill would make the sharing of data with third party researchers a legal requirement for social media companies. The bill can definitely improve things because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up putting legal penalties in place for social media platforms that refuse to comply.

This is especially important when you consider that Facebook and Instagram’s own internal research has revealed the negative impact that these platforms can have on the mental health of their teenage users. Releasing the data to outside researchers is crucial with all things having been considered and taken into account. It can allow unbiased parties to look into the data and ascertain what can be done about it, something that is essential when you consider how these companies might be incentivized to keep their harmful nature at least somewhat private.

About 300 scientists came together on the 6th of December to send an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking him to release the data that they require, and this bill might be the final step needed to make it so that the data finally gets to the people that need it.

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