The Daily Telegraph: Facebook 'can't regulate itself out of the mess it has made'

The Daily Telegraph: Facebook 'can't regulate itself out of the mess it has made'

Article by Hannah Boland for the Daily Telegraph - published 1 February 2020

Facebook cannot be trusted to regulate itself and instead should face "independent oversight", the former chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee has said.

Writing in The Telegraph, Conservative MP Damian Collins said there were clear limitations to Facebook's Oversight Board, and said the public should be wary over whether it "can play any meaningful role at all in stemming hate speech, violence and disinformation on the site".

Facebook set up its Oversight Board last year - an independent panel of 20 journalists, politicians and judges - to rule on cases over content decisions taken by the social media site.

Last week,it gave its first rulings, deciding in four out of the five cases before it against Facebook and said the site had been wrong to remove content.

Mr Collins said the social media site had touted the Oversight Board as a "transformational vehicle to address content moderation issues on the site". However, he said, "you could drive a truck through the loopholes and gaps in accountability".

The board, for example, can only rule on content decisions after users have appealed to Facebook itself, and the panel decides on which cases they will investigate. It has so far taken up six cases.

Facebook is also not obliged to "take down copies of the same material shared in the exact same context", Mr Collins said.

"Facebook can't self-regulate itself out of the mess it's made. If we want to stop division, misinformation and hate, we need to demand independent oversight and meaningful regulation of Facebook."

Mr Collins is part of a group known as the "Real Facebook Oversight Board", which includes others such as Roger McNamee, Mark Zuckerberg's former mentor. It is a protest group which is pushing for "accountability in real-time".

Facebook did not respond to requests for comment. The Oversight Board said: "We understand Mr Collins interest in appearing relevant in topical conversations.

"However, anyone with a serious understanding of the challenges in content moderation understands that the Board isn't going to solve every problem with Facebook, and that reshaping the company's policies will take time. We believe the public will form their own views, based on the impact of our policy recommendations, as we move forwards."

Copyright 2021 Damian Collins. All rights reserved

Promoted by Stephen James for and on behalf of Damian Collins, both of Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association both at 4 West Cliff Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SP


linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram