Dem. Sen. Ron Wyden to Facebook: Shape up or get broken up

While speaking at the TechFestNW conference in Oregon on Friday, Sen Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, had harsh words for Facebook.  In a nutshell, he said the company needs to either square itself away or face legislation designed to break it up.

“There are going to be people who are going to say Facebook ought to be broken up,” he said.

“There have been a number of proposals and ideas for doing it and I think unless [Zuckerberg] finds a way to honor the promise he made several years ago, he’s gonna have a law on his hands,” he added, according to a post at TechCrunch.

Moreover, the Oregon Democrat said he would support such a measure.

“I think we got to establish a principle once and for all that you own your data, period,” he said.

“What does that mean in the real world? It’s not enough for a company to bury some technical lingo in their [terms of service]… It’s not enough to have some convoluted process for opting out.”

“Two billion Facebook users have serious questions about how their data is being used,” he said, according to an article at Fox News, “and so do I.”

TechCrunch added:

Wyden, one of the loudest digital privacy champions in Congress, wants the public to use Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica debacle to demand that social networks obtain “explicit consent” from users before sharing their personal data with anyone — including advertisers.

“It’s real basic. You have to give the okay for them to do anything with your data,” Wyden said.

Zuckerberg is slated to appear before the Senate’s commerce and judiciary committees on Tuesday and the House energy and commerce committee the following day.

To date, Facebook has always successfully squirmed out of seeing its chief executive with his right hand raised. This time, as pressure mounted from legislators, investors, advertisers and the public alike, the company conceded. The set of hearings is widely expected to be a milestone event in big tech’s reluctant shuffle toward getting its wings clipped in Congress.

Facebook has also come under fire for declaring the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk “dangerous,” and the company continues to squash and censor conservative content online under the guise of combating “fake news.”

As a result, conservatives are slowly migrating to alternative sites like ProAmerica Only, Tea Party Community and PatrioticSpace while others are finding their way to MeWe, Minds and other similar sites more open to free expression.  There’s even a social media site geared towards Christians:  SocialCross.

A campaign called “Faceblock” also asks users to boycott Zuckerberg’s platform on April 11, the day he is set to testify before Congress.


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Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad
Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad – Source: Author (used with permission)


Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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