- Science & Tech

Facebook Called ‘Digital Gangsters’ in Fake News Report

Facebook has been called out in a new report on fake news and misinformation for breaking privacy and competition laws.

American based tech company, Facebook, was, on Monday, slammed by British lawmakers for intentionally and knowingly violating privacy and competition laws. The backlash came after the lawmakers concluded an 18-month-long investigation into the social media giant.

Facebook, which has over 2.23 billion monthly active users, was accused by UK politicians of manipulating user data and deliberately obstructing the efforts of the United Kingdom to reduce misinformation. They were also called out for failing to provide full details of how Russia uses the social media platform to interfere in elections.

In April 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook appeared before Congress but refused to testify before British lawmakers. The company eventually sent junior employees to represent them.

In the 108 page report issued by the lawmakers, Facebook was slammed for choosing profit-making as its top priority instead of the privacy rights of its numerous users. The report called for urgent regulation of the social media site, saying that the policies of Facebook facilitated the Cambridge Analytic data scandal.

Facebook, which is the world’s largest social network, was accused by the lawmakers of using its dominant market position to bring its rivals down and destroy States. “Companies like Facebook should not be given the room to act like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, thinking that they are above the law,” the report states.

The lawmakers recommended some policy changes that will enable the social network to serve its users better including a compulsory ethics code for all tech companies and giving government regulators the right to launch legal action against companies that disobey the rules.

A Facebook spokesperson has, however, come out to say that the company has increased the number of employees who work to protect users from misinformation and bad content. The spokesperson added that the company is currently investing in machine learning and AI to ensure that users are protected from misleading information.

Jed Kim

About Jed Kim

I am working as reporter and guest host for Marketplace. I was a staff reporter for the management industry, risk management, risk-based supervision, capital markets, financial derivatives. Before joining Marketplace in April 2016, I was an environment reporter at KPCC public radio in Pasadena.
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