MPs Demand Regulation of Facebook

By Gary Cutlack on at

A cross-party committee looking into the spread of "disinformation and fake news" on omnipresent blue social network Facebook is asking for the site to be regulated, if something like that is indeed even the slightest bit possible.

MPs said the key defence used by all such social sites – that they are mere "platforms" and should not be held responsible for how your dad uses such platforms – needs to be quickly legislated against, with the key recommendation being that a new type of media category is created to cover social networks.

Critically, this would include rules that would hold the platform holders responsible for content published at long last, handing them "legal liability" for anything identified as being harmful in any way – either personally or societally in the form of fake news -- and would require the companies to act in a more forceful, hands-on way than the pathetic advisory shrugs they manage at the moment.

The conclusions demand intervention ASAP, and say: "There is now an urgent need to establish independent regulation. We believe that a compulsory Code of Ethics should be established, overseen by an independent regulator, setting out what constitutes harmful content. The independent regulator would have statutory powers to monitor relevant tech companies; this would create a regulatory system for online content that is as effective as that for offline content industries." [Parliament via BBC]