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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote 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: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Facebook to launch Fourth of July voter registration drive Hillicon Valley: Facebook claims it 'does not profit from hate' in open letter | Analysis finds most of Facebook's top advertisers have not joined boycott | Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign 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 WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low 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."