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Senator Kennedy Calls For More Regulation For Social Media Companies

After a data scandal and privacy concerns, one Republican U.S. senator from Louisiana warned that Facebook may need to be regulated because its issues may be “too big” for the company to solve on its own.

“My biggest worry with all this is that the privacy issue and what I call the propagandist issue are both too big for Facebook to fix, and that’s the frightening part,” Senator John Kennedy said on CBS’s Face the Nation, according to Reuters.

Kennedy isn’t ruling out regulations on the social media company, saying that “it may be the case.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before the U.S. Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees today regarding how his company handles its users’ data.

“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) — the House panel’s top Republican and Democrat, respectively — said in a statement.

Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants to ask Zuckerberg if Facebook can actually find out the identities of the hundreds of thousands of entities that purchase ads on the site.

“I don’t want to hurt Facebook. I don’t want to regulate them half to death,” Kennedy said. “But we have a problem. Our promised digital utopia has minefields in it.”

Last week, Facebook endorsed the Honest Ads Act, which would ease the concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics. It would expand existing election laws covering television and radio outlets to include paid internet and digital advertisements.

The new legislation would also require digital platforms with at least 50 million monthly views to maintain a public file of all electioneering communications purchased by anyone spending more than $500.

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