Senator Warner: Let Users Freely Move Their Data From One Social Media Platform to Another

Dec 2, 2019

Should you be able to move all your cat videos from Facebook to a competing social media platform?

What happens when you decide that you want to ditch Facebook in favor of one of its competitors? Should you be able to move all those pictures of your wedding and your dog?

Senator Mark Warner says yes, which is why he introduced a bill that would ask the Federal Trade Commission to create model standards for social networking, multimedia sharing and online messaging. 

“So if you get tired of Facebook, and you want to move all your data, including your cat videos, to a new site, you should be able to do that easily and transparently,” Warner explains.

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says the wild west of social media needs some federal regulating.  

“The social media company is effectively the 21st century version of the electric company or the phone company," he says. "Effectively having a monopoly that does require government regulation.”

The legislation requires social media companies to maintain apps and interfaces to let you transfer your stuff anywhere you want.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.