Treat us like something between a telco and a newspaper, says Facebook's Zuckerberg

by Reuters
Saturday, 15 February 2020 16:25 GMT

Facebook Chariman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, February 15, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

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Social media giants have come under increasing pressure to combat governments and political groups using their platforms to spread false and misleading information

MUNICH, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Online content should be regulated with a system somewhere between the existing rules used for the telecoms and media industries, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told global leaders and security chiefs on Saturday.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Zuckerberg said Facebook had improved its work countering online election interference, and expanded on his previous calls for regulation of social media firms.

"I do think that there should be regulation on harmful content ... there's a question about which framework you use for this," Zuckerberg said during a question and answer session.

"Right now there are two frameworks that I think people have for existing industries - there's like newspapers and existing media, and then there's the telco-type model, which is 'the data just flows through you', but you're not going to hold a telco responsible if someone says something harmful on a phone line."

"I actually think where we should be is somewhere in between," he said.

Facebook and social media giants including Twitter and Alphabet's Google have come under increasing pressure to better combat governments and political groups using their platforms to spread false and misleading information.

Zuckerberg said he now employed 35,000 people to review online content and implement security measures.

Those teams and Facebook's automated technology currently suspend more than 1 million fake accounts each day, he said, adding that "the vast majority are detected within minutes of signing up."

"Our budget is bigger today than the whole revenue of the company when we went public in 2012, when we had a billion users," he said.

"I'm proud of the results but we will definitely have to stay vigilant."

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Paul Carrel Editing by Frances Kerry)

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