UK says Facebook needs stricter regulation over fake news

2019-02-18 at 08:45

UK MPs have said Facebook needs far stricter regulation, with tough and urgent action necessary to end the spread of disinformation on its platform.

A Commons committee has concluded that the firm’s founder Mark Zuckerberg failed to show “leadership or personal responsibility” over fake news.

They said untrue stories from foreign powers were risking the UK’s democracy. Facebook welcomed the digital select committee’s report and said it would be open to “meaningful regulation”.

MPs said that what was needed to deal with the proliferation of disinformation online and the misuse of personal data was a “radical shift in the balance of power between social media platforms and the people”.

The inquiry into fake news, which lasted more than a year, was conducted by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, with much of the evidence focusing on the business practices of Facebook before and after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Cambridge Analytica was a political advertising firm that had access to the data of millions of users, some of which was alleged used to psychologically profile US voters. The data was acquired via a personality quiz.