Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

Privacy, misinformation and competition in the social media age

31 October 2019

Prof. Suzanne Rab

Professor Suzanne Rab was interviewed this morning on BBC Business Live as social media firms are to be placed under a new statutory duty of care in the UK, and risk prosecutions, fines or even bans from operating if they fail to protect their users from unacceptable content. 

The question of whether existing regulation is adequate to make social media companies take more responsibility has been raised in a number of areas prompting concerns over privacy, misinformation and competition.

In the wake of Facebook's latest results announcement it is clear that negative publicity and regulatory attention has not affected its growth, whether in terms of subscriber numbers, revenues or profits. 

The truth is that even though comparisons have been made with monopolies of the past, the world has not yet seen anything quite like the social media phenomenon where Facebook alone interacts with one in three people across the globe.  This has prompted calls for tougher regulation and even break-up.  However, passing laws to make social media companies police the internet brings with it other concerns.  Let's not be deluded that any law that orders a company to remove unacceptable content will face objections from proponents of free speech. Where the court making the judgment is from a country where the rule of law is cherished, we might not object.   But that cannot be said of all regimes globally who want to take proactive steps to counter what they perceive is objectionable content.

To view the full interview, please click here and view at 02:06.

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team