Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said that the social media networks Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have done more harm than good and that they should be eradicated from the face of Internet.
Hawley, a strong advocator of antitrust laws has often spoken about breaking down Facebook into separate entities in the past. However, the comments against social media sites and wanting to eradicate them is a new development. Many conservatives have also voiced out against Facebook and other social media sites for censoring conservative speech on their platforms.
Senator Hawley expressed his strong opinions against social media sites in an op-ed published in the USA Today on Wednesday. He said that social media has given rise to an ‘addiction economy' that shouldn't have existed in the first place.
“Social media's innovations do our country more harm than good. Maybe social media is best understood as a parasite on productive investment, on meaningful relationships, on a healthy society,” wrote Sen. Hawley.
While calling Facebook a ‘drug,' Hawley said that social media sites care about advertising the most and not about lofty ideals such as developing ‘new forms of human interaction.'
Several prominent figures such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and many more have often expressed that monopolies such as Facebook and Google must be broken down.
“High salaries and stock options have encouraged a generation of our brightest engineers to enter a field of little productive value. This is, to put it mildly, an opportunity missed for the nation. What marvels might these bright minds have produced had they been oriented toward the common good?” wrote Hawley.
Hawley's arguments are undeniable from mental health and economic standpoint as well. While social media's effects on mental health is a relatively new area of research, we still have several studies stating the detrimental effects of social media on the mental wellness of people.
In the recent past, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter have appeared numerous times before Congress for discussing data protection and to defend their companies against accusations of privacy violations. The infamous ‘Cambridge Analytica' scandal wrecked quite a havoc and damaged Facebook's reputation-making its privacy malpractices public.