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Regulating Big Tech: Perspectives on the threat and the challenge

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With roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is currently the world's biggest and most profitable social network. (Credit Yuri Samoilov/CreativeCommons)

Today, it’s Midday on TechFrances Haugen has worked at several tech companies, including Facebook, whose corporate name has just been changed to Meta. When she testified to Congress recently and subsequently released thousands of internal Facebook documents, she exposed the extent to which Facebook designs algorithms that are intended to keep users glued to the program, and the pernicious consequences of that business model.

Can these algorithms - the lifeblood of the Facebook business model - be regulated and controlled to eliminate those consequences?

Tom's two guests today offer expert perspectives on that question.
Dr. Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. She is also the recently appointed director of the university's Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Dr. Vitak joins us on Zoom.

Joe Toscano is the founder of the Better Ethics and Consumer Outcomes Network, or BEACON, and the author of Automating Humanity (Powerhouse Books, 2018).  A former designer with Google, he was also featured in the movie, The Social Dilemma. He joins us on Zoom from New York City.

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Dr. Jessica Vitak directs the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland; Joe Toscano, a former Google designer, is the founder and CEO of BEACON, the Better Ethics and Consumer Outcomes Network.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.