What If the US Government Ran Facebook?

On today's episode of 'The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast', Jason Koebler and Ankita Rao discuss Motherboard's recent speculative fiction, and the unnerving reality behind it.
Image: Chris Kindred

Facebook is, in many ways, more ubiquitous and far-reaching than the American government, with more than one billion active users. But the platform has come under increasing scrutiny for its questionable ethics and lax internal regulation—most recently, when Cambridge Analytica, a private firm hired by the Trump administration, acquired access to the private data of millions of Facebook users.

As the call for tighter regulation of social media companies gets louder, Motherboard staffers decided to look at what would happen if the US government regulated Facebook. This speculative thought experiment was meant to examine the strengths and weaknesses of both Facebook’s operations and government oversight. The reporters looked at different facets of the issues, from labor to free speech to the international impact of a fictional Facebook.gov.

In the following episode, Motherboard Editor-in-Chief Jason Koebler breaks it down.

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