Facebook vs. the government

As Facebook continues to face intense scrutiny from governments around the world on tackling misinformation and anticompetitive practices, one tech expert says it’s likely Facebook will always have more power.

Ramona Pringle, a tech expert and associate professor at Ryerson University, breaks down the relationship that Facebook has had with the government since 2016, saying the company is a business looking to profit through disrupting legacy institutions.

“There is no more legacy institution than government, and you can see that there’s already, from the very beginning, this discomfort between social media platforms, Silicon Valley upstarts, and the government,” she said. “From the outside, it appears that they have no intention of partnering up with the government. It’s not their responsibility. This is why there are so many efforts to push for laws and regulations now because that’s the way you get them to play ball.”

Pringle questions who has more power, adding that Facebook has more users than the population of Canada.

“Everything comes down to power and who has power and what is the relationship between a company and a country going to be when one has substantially more power. Where does the power come from, is it institutional power like government? Or is it the power that comes from being a global superpower?”