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Public Citizen Echoes Biden’s State of the Union Calls to Tackle Big Tech

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen was a guest of First Lady Jill Biden at the 2022 State of the Union address, where President Joe Biden spoke about the need to rein in Big Tech to protect our children’s mental health. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Congress, as well as agencies like the SEC and FTC, must now act to regulate and break up tech giants that threaten civil rights, competition, and democracy itself. Documents released by whistleblower Francis Haugen revealed that Facebook has promoted hate speech, fake news, anorexia, election manipulation, child exploitation, violence, white supremacy, vaccine misinformation, and more. The company also is an anticompetitive nightmare, operating a buy-or-bury business model to decimate rival platforms.

“For far too long, tech companies have deceptively tracked kids and exploited their vulnerabilities for profit. As shown in the president’s speech, the Biden administration clearly recognizes that children and teens are vulnerable and that much stronger protections are needed to allow young people to use the internet safely. Protecting children is essential, but it isn’t enough. Facebook (now Meta) has every incentive to continue its bad behavior against adults as well until Congress and the administration step in.

“Big Tech companies are now among the top corporate lobbying spenders in the country, and we expect them to throw everything they have into stopping commonsense measures that protect children, civil rights, privacy, and competition. It’s more important than ever for lawmakers and agencies to show their independence and bring these companies to account.”