In an unprecedented step, Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump from posting to their platforms Wednesday following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The lawsuits together represent the most significant political and legal threats to Facebook in its more than 16-year history, setting up a high-profile clash between U.S. regulators and one of Silicon Valley’s most profitable firms that could take years to resolve.
Federal regulators on Wednesday sued to force a breakup of Facebook as 48 states and districts accused the company in a separate lawsuit of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors.
The push against Facebook and Twitter accelerated Thursday after Republican senators threatened the CEOs of the companies with subpoenas to force them to address accusations of censorship in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign.
The House investigation of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google stopped short of calling for a breakup of any of the companies. Instead, it proposed the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. antitrust law in decades.
The four chief executives—Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai—took the witness stand to fiercely defend their businesses Wednesday.
A regulator will this month publish draft rules forcing the two U.S. tech giants to share revenue generated from news with the original publishers. Should others follow, it would chip away at two of the most wildly successful business models of the 21st century.
On Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg met with a group of civil rights leaders, including the organizers of a growing advertising boycott over hate speech on Facebook.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has come under criticism from rival Elizabeth Warren, who charges that Buttigieg is too cozy with Facebook. Buttigieg’s aides confirmed that his campaign hired two digital analytics staff recommended by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
A state-level antitrust investigation into the social network now has the backing of a bipartisan group of 47 attorneys general.
The focus will be on Facebook’s plan to create a digital currency and its role in housing. The company agreed in a legal settlement in March to overhaul its ad-targeting systems to prevent discrimination in housing, credit and employment ads.
Two bipartisan groups of state attorneys general are launching separate antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google, adding to regulatory scrutiny of two of the world’s largest and most ubiquitous tech companies.
The fine is the largest the Federal Trade Commission has levied on a tech company, though it won’t make much of a dent for a company that had nearly $56 billion in revenue last year.
Members of both parties demanded to know why a company with massive market power and a track record of scandals should be trusted with such a far-reaching project, given the potential for fraud, abuse and criminal activity.
Facebook has said it’s eyeing next year for the launch of Libra, which has drawn the ire of skeptical lawmakers, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and President Donald Trump.
Facebook is getting a taste of the regulatory pushback it will face as it creates a new digital currency with corporate partners.
The social media giant said it has found that 40 percent of Americans live in places where there weren't enough local news stories to support its new service.
The outage is yet another publicity problem for a company already dealing with privacy issues and regulatory probes.
Candidates running at all levels of government have turned to cheaper and potentially more effective social media ads to reach voters.