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Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger to Deactivate Facebook and Instagram Accounts

Oct 27, 2021
Press Release
New report suggests company’s algorithms prioritized content that generated ‘angry’ responses

(Washington, DC) Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today announced he will deactivate his Facebook and Instagram accounts until both its parent company and Congress make substantial reforms that protect our children, health and democratic values. The move comes amid disturbing whistleblower reports detailing the company’s own research revealing harm to democracy, the mental health of teens and the amplification of hate speech.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Facebook’s algorithm at one time treated “angry” reactions as five times more valuable than “likes,” disproportionately promoting content that was likely to include “misinformation, toxicity and low-quality news.”

“Facebook’s basic business model sows division and disinformation and I can no longer use it – and promote it from my official mediums – in good conscience for the time being,” Congressman Ruppersberger said.  “While Facebook must do better to police themselves, Congress must also act and pass reasonable social media reforms. I look forward to learning more about what we can do to promote change and supporting legislation to that effect.”

Congressman Ruppersberger emphasized the many other ways the citizens of Maryland’s Second District can communicate with him. His Twitter account will remain active. He and his staff are available to take constituents’ calls, emails – even faxes.