Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently published a column in the Washington Post in which he outlines how he believes the government should regulate the Internet, including censoring speech that his platforms finds “harmful.”
In an op-ed by Zuckerberg titled “The Internet Needs New Rules. Let’s Start in These Four Areas,” recently published in the Washington Post, the billionaire Facebook CEO discusses how integral technology has become to everyday life for most people and how he believes that governments and regulators need to take a more “active role” in policing the internet.
In the op-ed, Zuckerberg states:
I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.
From what I’ve learned, I believe we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.
Zuckerberg then goes on to outline how he believes that harmful content should be regulated, stating that Facebook has a responsibility to counter issues such as terrorist propaganda and “hate speech” on its platform but due to the size of the company, they regularly “make mistakes and decisions that people disagree with.” Zuckerberg stated that he agrees with politicians stating that Facebook has too much control over speech which is why the firm is creating an independent body where decisions can be appealed.
Zuckerberg then discusses the issue of election integrity, stating that regulation should be put in place by governments to create common standards for verifying political actors:
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. And there are also important questions about how political campaigns use data and targeting. We believe legislation should be updated to reflect the reality of the threats and set standards for the whole industry.
Finally, Zuckerberg calls for the adoption of a global data protection and privacy framework similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, stating:
New privacy regulation in the United States and around the world should build on the protections GDPR provides. It should protect your right to choose how your information is used — while enabling companies to use information for safety purposes and to provide services. It shouldn’t require data to be stored locally, which would make it more vulnerable to unwarranted access. And it should establish a way to hold companies such as Facebook accountable by imposing sanctions when we make mistakes.
I also believe 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.
Zuckerberg finishes the op-ed stating that he believes that Facebook has a responsibility to address the issues he discussed and he looks forward to discussing these issues with lawmakers. Zuckerberg adds: “The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives. It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”
Read the full op-ed in the Washington Post here.