‘Facebook needs independent ethical oversight’

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 19, 2019.
-A +A

LONDON: Facebook and other big technology companies should be subject to a compulsory code of ethics to tackle the spread of fake news, the abuse of users’ data and the bullying of smaller firms, British lawmakers said yesterday.

In a damning report singling out Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg for what it said is 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 end. “The citizen’s rights 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.” — Reuters