Regulate, break up, open up: how to fix Facebook in 2022


Publish Date:
December 25, 2021
The Guardian
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Nate Persily, professor at Stanford Law School and the director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, has worked with Facebook in an academic capacity but became increasingly frustrated with the amount of data the company shared with researchers. Since then he has drafted text for a law – the Platform Transparency and Accountability Act – which would grant scholars access to information the social media company holds, while protecting user privacy.

“These companies have thrived in secrecy and we are now seeing that from the Frances Haugen revelations,” Persily said.

The impact of opening the data up would be twofold: first, it would educate academics and the public about what’s happening on the platform, including the role of algorithms, apps targeting kids, and rates of disinformation, Persily said. Second, Facebook would behave differently if it knew it was being watched.

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