These days, fake news has been a major point of discussions as most of the popular social networking platforms along with Google has come under heavy criticisms. Often times, the companies are quick to react to remove both fake news and violence. Despite that, the problem exists due to huge number of internet users and recently, a group of UK MPs have proposed to implement meaningful fines for etch companies that fail to remove such stories or act of violence in a short period of time.
The report was published by the Commons Home Affairs Committee and it criticizes tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter’s efforts to curb the spread of hate, abuse and extremism online. While the effort by these companies are commendable, the report pointed out that the efforts are nowhere near enough. The report also said, “There are too many examples of social media companies being made of aware of illegal material yet failing to remove it, or to do so in a timely way.”
If this new rule is implemented, it’ll be similar to the rules sanctioned earlier by Germany which is considering to fine tech companies that fail to remove offensive materials in a timely fashion. In addition to the fine, the group has proposed that social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter pay for the the monitoring and investigation work carried out by the metropolitan police.
However, companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter want algorithms to filter out offensive contents. The companies have argued that given that human judgement can affect different stories, algorithms for removing contents is much more reliable. While this seems to be understandable, the committee doesn’t seem to share similar views as the committee said, “They are, in effect, outsourcing the vast bulk of their safeguarding responsibilities at zero expense. We believe that it is unacceptable that social media companies are not taking greater responsibility for identifying illegal content themselves.”
While the companies are trying hard to exclude violent contents from the networks, it’s difficult to do so and hopefully, the matter will be solved in the coming days. The committee responsible for the proposal seemingly shares same ideas as the group said in an official statement, “It is in everyone’s interest, including the social media companies themselves, to find ways to reduce pernicious and illegal material. Transparent performance reports, published regularly, would be an effective method to drive up standards radically, and we hope it would also encourage competition between platforms to find innovative solutions to these persistent problems.”
It’ll be worthwhile to see if the companies comply with the proposal or act against it as several companies did when similar law was proposed in Germany.
Featured Image: Pixabay/geralt