ANNAPOLIS (Md.) -- A Maryland congressman announced Wednesday he had deactivated his official campaign and congressional Facebook accounts. He hopes that Congress and their parent company will make significant reforms to safeguard children's health and democratic principles.
Dutch Ruppersberger, Democratic Rep., said that his decision was prompted by disturbing whistleblower reports from the company about its own research that revealed harm to democracy and teens' mental health as well as the amplifying of hate speech.
Ruppersberger quoted a report from The Washington Post which stated that Facebook's algorithm once valued "angry" responses five times more than "likes," and promoted content that was most likely to contain "misinformation," toxicity, and low-quality information.
Ruppersberger stated that "Facebook’s basic business model sows disinformation and division, and I cannot no longer use it – and promote it through my official medias - in good faith for the moment,” Ruppersberger said. "While Facebook should be more vigilant in its own polices, Congress must act to pass social media reforms that are reasonable."
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, has previously disputed Frances Haugen’s portrayal of the company by Frances Haugen as one that values profit more than the well-being its users or pushes divisive material.
Ruppersberger stated that his Twitter account would remain active. Ruppersberger also stressed that his staff and he are available to answer constituents' emails, calls, and faxes.