British lawmakers on Monday accused Facebook of “intentionally and knowingly” violating data privacy and anti-competition laws as they called for social media companies to assume clear legal liabilities for content shared on their platforms.
Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company.
“Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a platform.
“It cannot maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites,’’ a major report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released on Monday.
The committee, which reviewed a trove of internal Facebook emails, accused the tech giant of being “willing to override its users’ privacy settings in order to transfer data to some app developers.’’
The lawmakers also accused chief executive Mark Zuckerberg of showing “contempt” of the British parliament by choosing not to appear before the committee nor “respond personally to any of our invitations.”
The committee called for the establishment of a compulsory code of ethics overseen by an independent regulator to draw a rulebook of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours on social media.
“The process should establish clear, legal liability for tech companies to act against agreed harmful and illegal content on their platform,’’ the report said.
The regulator should have the ability to launch legal proceedings “with the prospect of large fines being administered” for non-complying companies.
The committee also called for electoral law to be changed “to reflect changes in campaigning techniques” and for “absolute transparency of online political campaigning.”