(New York, N.Y.) – Following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to lobby and influence the European Union’s efforts to regulate tech companies, this week, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) warns that his call for online regulation is an obvious attempt to seize control of upcoming digital policies such as the terrorist content file and Digital Services Act.
Facebook’s latest white paper, which sets out some questions that regulation of online content might address, was published just a few days ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s digital strategy aimed at reining in on tech giants. Zuckerberg, who presented his company’s proposal at the Munich Security Conference, called for further regulation to tackle harmful content. However, he was careful not to subject online platform providers to the same level of scrutiny and liability as publishers or broadcasters. The CEO continued to tout that Facebook’s algorithms can now spot and take down up to 99% of terrorist content before an external complaint is made. Given the number of extremist content that is uploaded regularly, Zuckerberg’s claims are far from being sufficient.
David Ibsen, Executive Director of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) stated:
“Facebook’s hypocritical call for regulation against harmful content, together with Zuckerberg’s lobbying mission in Brussels just a few days ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s digital strategy, is a clear sign of the company’s cynical efforts to seize control of the looming EU legislation. We strongly encourage European decision-makers not to let these tech giants dictate rules that will favor corporate financial interests over public safety. Despite tech companies’ pledge to proactively take down extremist content following the Christchurch attack, harmful content can still be found across all online platforms. Stricter regulation, as envisaged by the European Institutions, is a welcome and needed step to keep people safe and hold tech companies accountable.”