Facebook white paper calls for 'new type of regulator' for the good of its business

Facebook white paper calls for 'new type of regulator' for the good of its business
© Greg Nash

Facebook is calling for a “new type of regulator” for social media platforms in a white paper published Monday after years of the tech giant lobbying against tighter regulations.

Facebook said any new regulations should hold internet firms responsible for putting certain procedures in place and called for platforms to meet specific performance goals for handling content in violation of their policies, Bloomberg reported.

It also called for the rules to identify which forms of speech should be prohibited online even if they do not violate any laws.

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The white paper was released at the same time as an op-ed by Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump, telecom executives talk coronavirus response | Pelosi pushes funding for mail-in voting | New York AG wants probe into firing of Amazon worker | Marriott hit by another massive breach As misinformation surges, coronavirus poses AI challenge Zuckerberg, Gates team up to contribute M for research into coronavirus treatments MORE in the Financial Times, in which he wrote that “if we don’t create standards that people feel are legitimate, they won’t trust institutions or technology.”

“I believe good regulation may hurt Facebook’s business in the near term but it will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term,” Zuckerberg said.

In the op-ed, he said such regulations could better clarify what constitutes political advertising, particularly in the case of ads paid for by groups not directly affiliated with a political party or candidate, as well as better-defined data ownership.

“How do we define what counts as your data? If I share something with you, like my birthday, should you be able to take that data to other services, like your calendar app? Is that my data or yours?” he wrote. “Without clear rules on portability, strict privacy laws encourage companies to lock down data, refusing to share with others, to minimize regulatory risks.”