The report was released by UK’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport committee on Monday. The report is published after an 18-month long investigation into the conduct of Facebook and other social media companies. The UK government is trying to curb spreading of fake news and misinformation. In a 108-page report, UK lawmakers have called for the creation of an independent regulator for governing social media sites.
The report by British lawmakers says, “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law.” The committee also accused CEO Mark Zuckerberg for showing contempt towards UK parliament for declining to testify.
On the committee’s website, Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee said, “Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.” While Zuckerberg personally appeared in front of US and EU lawmakers, he sent other Facebook representatives to testify in the UK.
The committee recommends strong measures and has requested that online platforms like Facebook should be subject to a Compulsory Code of Ethics that should be overseen by an independent regulator. The lawmakers believe that they should be able to pursue legal action if companies like Facebook refuse to remove unlawful content.
The report demands that the public body should have the statutory power to obtain any information from an online platform that would help them with any inquiries. British lawmakers believe that the malicious and relentless targeting with misinformation and personalised dark advertisements are putting democracy at a risk.