President and COO of AT&T, John Stankey, has expressed worry regarding the power that tech companies now wield.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Stankey says he’s “really concerned about the concentration of economic power” in big tech companies. He also mentioned how they approach their “platforms’ influence on society”.
Stankey urged Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take some responsibility for information posted on the platform. He says that the service requires “editorial integrity” whether or not Zuckerberg considers Facebook a media company.
In a statement, he says:
“If that’s where people are consuming facts and information and if you’re aggregating and producing that to move out, then you probably need to think about what the editorial integrity of your platform is.”
However, Facebook has insisted it doesn’t consider itself as a media company. Mark Zuckerberg had written in a 2016 Facebook post:
“News and media are not the primary things people do on Facebook. So I find it odd when people insist we call ourselves a news or media company in order to acknowledge its importance.”
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Zuckerberg also told a U.S. House Committee in 2018 that Facebook was a “technology company”. In his words, he explained:
“[The] primary thing that we do is have engineers who write code and build products and services for other people. When people ask if we’re a media company what I heard is, ‘Do we have a responsibility for the content that people share on Facebook,’ and I believe the answer to that question is yes.”
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management also told Yahoo Finance in September 2019:
“We don’t want to be in the position of determining what is true and what is false for the world. We don’t think we can do it effectively.”
In addition, Bickert had said:
“We hear from people that they don’t necessarily want a private company making that decision.”
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