Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Munich security conference in Germany on Saturday, 15th-February-2020. He addressed his advocacy on the implementation of new rules and regulations on social media companies like Facebook for policing online content. He requested the governments to come up with the new regulatory frameworks for internet companies like his instead of trying to regulate them with the pre-existing set of guidelines.
He added that private companies like Facebook should not be the decision-makers when it comes to administering the online content. During his oration in the conference, the 35 years old CEO also criticized the free speech policy of China. Though this comment of his offended a lot of Facebook employees in China.
The Facebook founder further suggested that the new frameworks should find a middle ground between those for telecom companies and the existing media groups.
Zuckerberg commented that “Right now, there are two frameworks that I think people have for existing industries – there’s like newspapers and existing media, and then there’s the telco-type model, which is the data just flows through you, but you’re not going to hold a telco responsible if someone says something harmful on a phone line”.
Zuckerberg further underlined Facebook’s had refined its interference which was countering online elections. He highlighted the fact that the company hires 35,000 employees to assess digital content and suspends over one million fake accounts every day, the majority of which gets detected within the first few minutes of signup.
While expressing his pride with the results that Facebook has gained since its launch in the market, Zuckerberg said that the company needs to be “vigilant” on its policies and online content. He has also assigned an overwhelming budget of $130m to create an independent “oversight board” to have better supervision on the digital content. The supervising body that Zuckerberg plans to launch in 2020, will also be able to overrule Facebook’s content decisions.
There is a shooting pressure on Facebook for monitoring online content especially after the social media giant’s involvement in the controversies during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impending US election. In the 2016 US presidential elections, Facebook reportedly facilitated Russian Interference. While the social media company is still hustling with the recorded fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal of 2018, it was under four different antitrust investigations in 2019 in the US.
Facebook had already rolled out new regulations for any politics centered advertisements in the US in the year 2018. It subsequently implemented the policies for the global domains in 2019. According to these guidelines, political ads were mandated to disclose the name of their sponsors. The ad copy would also be included in the open database that could be easily searched by the next seven years.
However, Facebook recently claimed that it would not take up and publish political posts in its database that are sponsored by people who are social media stars. Further, political posts come with the chances of error as they are not always actually reviewed owing to Facebook’s free speech policy.
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