Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls for internet regulation | News | DW | 31.03.2019
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls for internet regulation

Mark Zuckerberg wants better internet regulation for "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability." It comes after Facebook faced criticism over a deadly attack being livestreamed on the platform.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday called for governments and regulators to play a bigger role in the regulation of the internet.

In an opinion piece published in newspapers including Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine, the Washington Post, Ireland's Sunday Independent and France's Journal de Dimanche, Zuckerberg outlined four areas in need of regulation: "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability."

"Technology is a major part of our lives, and companies such as Facebook have immense responsibilities," he wrote. "Every day, we make decisions about what speech is harmful, what constitutes political advertising, and how to prevent sophisticated cyber attacks."

Read more: Why you should think twice about giving Facebook your mobile number

Facebook has 'too much power over speech'

"Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree," Zuckerberg wrote.

He added that Facebook "shouldn't make so many important decisions about speech on our own" and that the situation had prompted Facebook to create an independent body to allow people to appeal its decisions.

Zuckerberg also said all major internet services should issue a quarterly report on their success in removing harmful content, and that new legislation should be introduced for protecting elections.

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'Common global network' needed

Zuckerberg believes "a common global framework — rather than regulation that varies significantly by country and state — will ensure that the internet does not get fractured, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protections," he wrote.

Facebook experienced harsh criticism this month following a deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during which the attacker livestreamed the events on the social media site.

Facebook said the video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast and about 4,000 times in total before being removed.

Read more: 15 years on, is it time to #DeleteFacebook?

According to Facebook, 1.5 million versions of the video were removed during the first 24 hours, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed frustration that the footage could still be found online four days later.

On Wednesday the social media giant said it would ban content supporting white nationalism and white separatism on both Facebook and Instagram, and on Thursday it said it had introduced stricter rules on advertising in the run-up to European Parliament elections in May.

law/rc (AFP, dpa)

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