Social media must act responsibly: Face up or face-off

It is shameful that the biggest, wealthiest, most innovative and cleverest technology firms in the world appear to be unable to tackle dangerous and illegal content on the internet.

Either that, or they are not prepared to face up to their social responsibilities to protect the public from hateful content posted by extremists.

An inquiry by the British House of Commons has concluded that social media multinationals are putting profit first and are more concerned with protecting their commercial interests than protecting the public.

The inquiry was launched last year following the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right gunman screaming “Britain first”.

In Germany, the justice ministry has proposed imposing financial penalties of up to €50 million on social media companies that fail to remove illegal content.

Every EU nation should do likewise and if the UK were to follow suit that would not only put manners on social media multinationals put provide a template for future co-operation between Britain and Europe in a post-Brexit world.

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