Facebook has enlisted the help of over 500 million people to register their likes and dislikes making it the world’s largest social networking site. Now, it has hired just seven lobbyist to gain the help of lawmakers in Washington to bolster its grasp on the highly lucrative curating of its users information, including stifling the work of one local state legislator.
USA Today reported on Facebook’s growing presence on Capitol Hill and highlights state Sen. Ellen Corbett’s ill-fated attempt last year to protect children from disclosing their home addresses and phone numbers online. Corbett’s SB 1361 passed the State Senate last February, but was squashed in an assembly committee as Facebook played catch up by spending $6,500 in lobbying efforts. The bill would have imposed penalties on social networking sites up to $10,000 for each violation.
"This is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed — the security of young people," Corbett told USA Today. "It is an important goal to stop the posting of their addresses. I can't think of one viable reason to post it."
Opponents of the bills have said children and teenagers would simply lie about their age leading to a host of “unintended consequences.” Advocates for various online companies say there is no evidence such information posted on social networking sites leads to endangering minors.
Corbett says she intends to bring the bill back for discussion this year, according to USA Today.