Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday said social media companies need to protect their platforms from disinformation campaigns and properly police false or misleading content or they will face government regulation. “I think the companies now do understand if they do not take it upon themselves to self-regulate — which is essentially the theme of my talk today — they will face the potential of government regulation,” he said. Rosenstein’s remarks come amid fears that Iran and other countries are looking to take a page from Russia’s 2016 playbook and carry out sophisticated disinformation campaigns in the next presidential campaign.
There has been frustration in Washington with the efforts by Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to police their content.
Rosenstein, speaking at the Cybercrime Symposium hosted by Georgetown Law, said the companies have the ability to take action. “They do have the ability and the incentive to self-regulate in order to avoid the kind of hostile regulation that may impede their business models,” he said.
Rosenstein said many of the companies are seeking to take action, saying they were “motivated” to prevent the use of their platforms to spread disinformation. Rosenstein pushed back on critics that he says oppose the law enforcement community working with tech experts.
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