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Government regulation not necessarily a bad thing: CEO Adam Mosseri

Instagram Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Mosseri has said government regulation is not necessarily a “bad thing” and is required in some areas.

The head of Facebook-owned Instagram said that the company did not want to get into the business of making content decisions.

“We think privacy is an area where we would love more specific guidance from governments. So regulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, very often, it is necessary. The question is, how do we make sure it’s smart regulation?” he told the publication.

Mosseri also said the ban on ByteDance-owned TikTok in India was not good for rivals and set a bad precedent. He said any uptick in engagement seen after a rival had been weakened or banned was “outweighed” by the risk created by precedent setting.

He also gave his reasons for speaking against the potential ban on TikTok in the US.

“I think if more and more countries are interested in banning apps or threatening to ban apps as a point of leverage to try and force companies like ours to do whatever they like…sometimes it’s about censorship, sometimes it’s about data access — it creates a lot of risk,” said Mosseri.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, which could potentially force the company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp or spin them off into separate entities.

Mosseri told The Economic Times that he disagrees with the allegations in the lawsuit, which accuses Facebook of using a “buy or bury” strategy to fend off smaller competitors.

“I think people miss that Instagram is what it is today because of Facebook in a lot of ways. Not to take any credit away from the founders. They are brilliant. I joined Instagram to work with them. But when we bought it, Instagram was 13 people. It was a small app and today it’s a global platform and the vast majority of its history – more than eight years of its 10 years – has been as part of a Facebook company,” Mosseri said.

He also said social media platforms should be prepared for further scrutiny.

“Facebook is at the forefront of a lot of this, given how involved we are in people’s lives, in the news industry, how involved we’ve been in the press over the last couple of years,” he said. “Given our size, people are going to scrutinise us and we should expect that.”

Mosseri also said India was one of the most important markets for Instagram. MoneyControl

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