Some CT lawmakers want social media companies to get parental consent before allowing anyone 16 or younger to use their platforms.

I use Facebook to stay in touch with my long-distance friends. Recently, I have learned to get their e-mail addresses instead. It’s too time-consuming to sift through the excessive stories in my “newsfeed.” Too often, this news is from people I don’t know well who describe their innermost secrets publicly on Facebook’s platform. Often what passes for news is nauseating at best.

Also disturbing to me is the Russian meddling on Facebook along with the employment of sham company ‘Cambridge Analytica.’ The former-USSR used Facebook to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Many unwitting users took fake polls from which the data was mined, sold, and analyzed by Cambridge Analytica for political gain. This connivance takes advantage of people who trust social media — and especially Facebook. Most of the people I’m describing have never been taught to “consider the source,” especially in the era of “fake news.”

Facebook must make it clear to their members which of their data they sell for nefarious purposes. No longer should any Facebook user tolerate foreign interference on social media. Like it or not, Facebook is part of civil discourse. Will Mark Zuckerberg continue to be part of the problem? Perhaps he can help and promote the idea of an American informed citizenry instead of manipulating the uninformed.

I’m considering closing my Facebook account because I cannot permit the current status quo. I’m waiting to see if meaningful reforms are coming soon.

Jeff Blocker lives in Windsor.

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