California Treasurer John Chiang says social media is taking over the role that broadcast TV and radio played in the last century.
"First of all, I think there's a strong desire to have clarity to the dissemination and sources of news. That you have honesty and accountability in communications," Chiang said.
Chiang is looking to the federal government to have oversight and accountability over social media companies. He says that using proper regulations, social media could grow into an industry that would provide consumers meaningful protections to safeguard their privacy rights, advance democracy, and stop the spread of 'fake news.'
In addition, Chiang added, digital platforms have become the main sources of news, entertainment and public debate for people online. "We see that social media has impact, very direct contact with individuals reaching out to their families and friends and others in ways that television and radio does not have."
Unlike its predecessors, he said, social media uses the information it harvests about their users' politics, buying habits, belief systems and personality traits that's free from standards and oversight.
"Obviously the impact of social media is profound and long-lasting. So I think it's important that we get a strong grasp on what's unfolding and take action," Chiang said.