Buttigieg: Political leaders need 'some kind of literacy' to regulate tech giants

Buttigieg: Political leaders need 'some kind of literacy' to regulate tech giants
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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg defends Kaepernick, NFL players who kneel during national anthem Journalism is now opinion-based — not news-based Buttiegieg backs NFL players' right to protest during anthem: I 'put my life on the line to defend' that MORE (D), one of the youngest presidential candidates in the crowded Democratic field, told The Mercury News that political leaders must improve social media and technological literacy if they hope to regulate those companies.

Discussing recent congressional hearings in which Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality On The Money: Conservative blocks disaster relief bill | Trade high on agenda as Trump heads to Japan | Boeing reportedly faces SEC probe over 737 Max | Study finds CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay Zuckerberg met with Winklevoss twins about Facebook developing cryptocurrency: report MORE and other social media and tech executives testified before Congress last year, Buttigieg said the hearings were “a spectacle of people in charge of regulating a very powerful force demonstrating that they had no concept of what it was they were in charge of overseeing, which is incredibly dangerous.”

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Politicians and regulators, the 37-year-old mayor said, “need some kind of literacy in these technologies, what they mean and more importantly what they can do, in order to regulate properly.”

Buttigieg, a Harvard alumnus, became Facebook’s 287th user in 2004, when the social network was still exclusively used by students at the university. “I don’t think any of us could have guessed what implications that technology would have in the long run,” he told the newspaper.

Buttigieg, in contrast to candidates like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE (D-Mass.), has stopped short of calling for the breaking up of tech giants like Facebook, instead suggesting tighter regulations such as restrictions on new mergers. He has said much of Silicon Valley “still have a David mentality when they’ve increasingly turned into Goliath” but argued that tech companies’ decisions are made “perhaps, not necessarily with bad intentions” and that, in his experience, executives are aware of the issues with social media saturation and are “really reflecting on what they wrought."