New Zealand mosque attack shows need for Congress to regulate Facebook

Des Moines Register

Copyright 2019 Des Moines Register

Some 13 years ago, I alerted the higher education community about the misuse of a new social medium, noting that 20,247 of 25,741 students at Iowa State University were already registered, although many faculty and administrators had never heard about it.

The piece, “Facing the Facebook,” appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Here’s an excerpt:

“On many levels, Facebook is fascinating — an interactive, image-laden directory featuring groups that share lifestyles or attitudes. Many students find it addictive, as evidenced by discussion groups with names like ‘Addicted to the Facebook,’ which boasts 330 members at Iowa State. Nationwide, Facebook tallies 250 million hits every day and ranks ninth in overall traffic on the Internet.”

In late 2005, when I researched Facebook for my Chronicle piece, the platform boasted 5.5 million users. In 2012, Facebook surpassed 1 billion users. It tallied 2.32 billion active users at the end of 2018. If you count the company’s WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, that figure rises to 2.7 billion.

In sum, the company’s total registered users are about the size of the populations of China and India combined.

That’s a lot of power. That’s a lot of profit.

For the rest of the op-ed, click here or visit: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2019/03/19/new-zealand-mosque-attack-shows-need-congress-regulate-facebook/3205769002/

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