British Lawmakers’ have branded Facebook ‘digital gangsters’ for failing to fight the spread of fake news and violating data privacy. In the report named ‘Disinformation and fake news’ MPs on the digital, culture and sports ministries say the Cambridge Analytica scandal that involved mining of data from Facebook showed “profound failure of governance within Facebook”
The report that goes ahead to even suggest that Facebook is unwilling to prevent dissemination of hate speech calls for tougher laws on social media companies.
“The big tech companies must not be allowed to expand exponentially, without constraint or proper regulatory oversight. But only governments and the law are powerful enough to contain them. The legislative tools already exist. They must now be applied to digital activity, using tools such as privacy laws, data protection legislation, antitrust and competition law.”
Members of the British House of Commons now claim for Mark Zuckerberg to claim not to know about the breaching incident, it displays fundamental weakness of the social media company in managing its responsibilities to the people whose data is used for its own commercial interests.
The committee has therefore called for the Competition and Markets Authority to launch an investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices at Facebook. This recommendation was based on evidence the committee uncovered in December that appeared to show Facebook offered preferential data access to certain companies and developers.
“Companies like Facebook exercise massive market power which enables them to make money by bullying the smaller technology companies and developers who rely on this platform to reach their customers,” said Damian Collins, Conservative MP who chairs the committee.
The committee has said that it is working towards an independent social media regulator to manage other social media platforms within the law of the land.