UK PM cranks up pressure on social media companies - Mobile World Live

UK PM cranks up pressure on social media companies

05 JUN 2017

Facebook said it wants to be a “hostile environment for terrorists” in a statement issued following calls by the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May for tougher regulation of the internet.

May said the internet and “the big companies” provide a “safe place” to breed the ideology behind terrorist attacks, after the latest in a string of incidents in the UK.

Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook, said the social network giant wants to: “provide a service where people feel safe. That means we do not allow groups or people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism. We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists.”

“Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it…We have long collaborated with policymakers civil society, and others in the tech industry, and we are committed to continuing this important work,” he added.

Meanwhile Nick Pickles, UK head of public policy at Twitter said: “Terrorist content has no place” on the platform, and highlighted the company suspended around 400,000 accounts in the back half of 2016.

Prime Minister May’s comments on internet regulation follow the third terrorist attack in the UK since March – and the second in a fortnight -, and is not the first time the country’s government criticised the role of online platforms.

Following an attack on the UK’s Parliament building in March, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging platform should open its encryption to security services to help prevent such incidents.

At the time, Rudd said the internet is “serving as a conduit, inciting and inspiring violence, and spreading extremist ideology.”

The UK Prime Minister previously said if she is successful in a general election on 8 June she wants to make companies contribute to the cost of policing the internet.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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