Former Facebook employee turned “whistleblower,” Frances Haugen, several former lawmakers, defense secretaries, and intelligence chiefs have formed the Council for Responsible Social Media, which will address the harmful impacts of social media.
The council is a project by political reform organization Issue One, which focuses on “strengthening democracy” in the US.
The council will be co-chaired by former House majority leader Dick Gephardt, who also helped create the council. Gephardt said he was concerned with the divisions in the country and first thought traditional media was to blame. However, there have always been political opinions in traditional media. He believes social media platforms are the major culprits.
“My experience in Congress leads me always to believe that to solve any problem in a democracy, you’ve got to get diverse people together, to talk to one another, to listen to one another,” Gephardt said, as reported by CNBC.
The council will hold bipartisan discussions about technology in DC and across the country and promote solutions to reform social media.
“I think things like this group are very important for providing a unified front, to get common-sense change that can really make a difference,” Haugen said. The former Facebook employee does believe content moderation is a solution, she views it as a “distraction from the real path forward, which is around product design, safety by design, transparency.”
Other members of the council include former heads of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency Chris Krebs, Porter Goss, and Michael Rodgers. Former design ethicist at Google Tristan Harris, former Se. Claire McCaskill, and former Defense Secretaries Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel are also members.