Facebook Says It Is 'Open to Meaningful Regulation'

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Facebook Says It Is 'Open to Meaningful Regulation'
Highlights
  • Facebook is "not the same company" it was a year ago: Karim Palant
  • Facebook has been ineffective in stopping harmful content: British MPs
  • Rights of the citizen need to be established in statute: Damian Collins

Facebook is "open to meaningful regulation", it said on Monday after British lawmakers said that big technology companies should be subject to a compulsory code of ethics to tackle the spread of fake news and abuse of users' data.

"We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee's recommendation for electoral law reform," said Facebook's public policy manager, Karim Palant.

He added that Facebook is "not the same company" it was a year ago and had already made substantial changes to its procedures.

In a damning report that singled out Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for what it said was a failure of leadership and personal responsibility, the UK parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said the companies had proved ineffective in stopping harmful content and disinformation on their platforms.

"The guiding principle of the 'move fast and break things' culture often seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission," committee chairman Damian Collins said.

"We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people."

Collins said the age of inadequate self-regulation must come to an end.

"The rights of the citizen need to be established in statute, by requiring the tech companies to adhere to a code of conduct written into law by Parliament, and overseen by an independent regulator," he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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