Facebook has further sought to protect itself, not only from competitor sites, but from the US government itself by using its resources to squash a recently proposed bill in the California state legislature.
The company spent a reported total of $6,600 in order to persuade state officials to vote down State Senator Ellen Corbett’s Social Networking Privacy Act. The law would have charged social networking sites, like Facebook, with civil penalties for displaying home addresses and other contact information from underage users.
The legislation had already passed through the State Senate without complication last April, however upon reaching the State Assembly it was promptly defeated. Corbett has refused admitting defeat though and said that the bill could be reintroduced into the legislature later this year.
Facebook though was not alone in voicing concern for Corbett’s bill; several safety organizations including Enough is Enough, ConnectSafely, Stop Child Predators, and Internet Keep Safe Coalition were worried over unintended consequences the bill would create, especially encouraging deception amongst underage users.
Facebook does consider itself a supporter of online safety however and is supportive of other legislation designed to promote it, such as a bill from former California state senator George Runner, according to a company spokesman.
In the long term though, one can suspect that this is merely the beginning of Facebook’s lobbying efforts. Whether or not they will be helpful or hurtful in future efforts remains uncertain at this time.