Leak shows Facebook’s business model needs regulating, says MEP

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The European Parliament’s lead and shadow rapporteur for a major reboot of the bloc’s digital rulebook have called for an investigation following the Facebook whistleblower leaks.

One of the MEPs has also called for incoming EU rules to directly tackle business models that favor “disinformation and violence over factual content”.

In a joint statement, the lead rapporteur for the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), Christel Schaldemose (S&D), and Alexandra Geese (shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA), said they are in touch with the former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen.

In an interview with 60 Minutes today, Haugen revealed herself as the source of a raft of recent leaks to The Wall Street Journal which has reported on the internal documents for a number of stories — including that Facebook’s internal research suggested Instagram made teenage girls’ anxiety and body image issues worse and that the tech giant operated policy carve-outs for whitelisting celebrities.

The two MEPs said the leaks make it clear that Big Tech must not be allowed to continue to regulate itself.

What Is Branding?

The EU’s executive moved forward in December last year with a major reboot to the digital rule book — introducing the DSA and another piece of regulation that’s specifically targeted at tech giants’ market power (aka the Digital Markets Act), kicking off a process of (ongoing) negotiations between EU institutions to amend and adopt legislation to extend platforms’ accountability.

The support of the European Parliament is required to pass the digital policy packages. And Geese is unlikely to be alone in calling for stronger measures than were contained in the Commission’s original DSA proposal in light of the latest ugly Facebook revelations.

Zuckerberg didn’t make any friends in Europe today

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