Facebook CEO calls for more regulation in wake of New Zealand mosque shootings

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Amazon draws COVID scrutiny Meta exec who co-founded Diem digital currency leaving the company Two lawyers who filed suit challenging election results ordered to pay nearly 7K MORE is calling for stricter outside regulation for the social media giant after criticism of how it handles issues including election interference and harmful content.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Zuckerberg lists four areas in which he writes the company needs external regulations: harmful content, election integrity, data portability and privacy.

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Regarding harmful content, Zuckerberg writes that the company is creating an independent body that allows users to appeal decisions on content removal, and that Facebook is also working with government agencies on ensuring its content review is effective.

External regulation, however, could help establish baselines for what content is harmful rather than leaving various social media platforms and services to set their own different standards, Zuckerberg writes.

“Facebook already publishes transparency reports on how effectively we’re removing harmful content. I believe every major Internet service should do this quarterly, because it’s just as important as financial reporting,” he writes. “Once we understand the prevalence of harmful content, we can see which companies are improving and where we should set the baselines.”

 

On the question of election integrity, Zuckerberg notes Facebook has already changed its rules to require advertisers in several countries to prove their identities before buying political ads, but adds that the system runs up against the question of what makes an ad political.

“Online political advertising laws primarily focus on candidates and elections, rather than divisive political issues where we’ve seen more attempted interference. Some laws only apply during elections, although information campaigns are nonstop,” he writes. “We believe legislation should be updated to reflect the reality of the threats and set standards for the whole industry.”

Privacy and data protection, meanwhile, need a “globally harmonized framework,” Zuckerberg writes, adding that more nations should adopt regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. A common regulatory framework, he writes, will prevent the Internet from being “fractured” and ensure protections that apply across the board.

Lastly, regulators should  introduce common standards for data portability, akin to the open-source data transfer project, Zuckerberg writes.

“True data portability should look more like the way people use our platform to sign into an app than the existing ways you can download an archive of your information,” the editorial states. “But this requires clear rules about who’s responsible for protecting information when it moves between services.”

A March mass shooting that killed 50 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques was livestreamed on Facebook, but the platform has claimed no users reported the video as it was streaming.

Last week, Facebook also announced it will ban white supremacist content from the platform.