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A deputy asks to punish Facebook: what happens?



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A deputy asks to punish Facebook: what happens?


According to a deputy who is conducting the analysis of a new law on the online security, Facebook should be punished with substantial fines if it continues to withhold evidence that its social media platforms harm users. Let’s find out the details together.

Facebook and online safety: what happens?

The social network is under political pressure on both sides of the Atlantic after the revelations in the Wall Street Journal. The famous newspaper accuses Facebook of being aware that its app Instagram was hurting the mental health of adolescents.

Leaked internal documents showed that among teenagers who have had suicidal thoughts, the 13% of UK users and the 6% of American users have traced this desire to Instagram.

Damian Collinsthe Conservative Chair of the Joint Committee on the Online Security Bill, said Wednesday:

“If they have important information like this and kept it hidden from the regulator, then I think they need to be punished. There would be fines. If there is damage done and a company is trying to hide this information from the regulator, it is a pretty serious violation. “

According to the draft law, social media companies are required to submit to OFCOM a “risk assessment” of content that causes harm to users.

The draft law proposes fines of up to 10% of a company’s annual turnoverwhich in the case of Facebook would be approx 6 billion pounds. A 2019 Facebook research slide, revealed by the WSJ, claimed that the app made worse “body image problems and complexes” by one in three girls.

Beeban Kidron he said the revelations demonstrated “beyond doubt the importance and timeliness of the online safety law.” She then added:

“This makes it clear that the protections of the draft law need to be extended to protect young people wherever they are online, be it on social media, in app stores or in a virtual classroom. Facebook’s own research shows how young people fall victim to a spiral of harmful experiences from functions deliberately designed to keep them engaged. The law must lead to an era of minimum applicable standards. What we have now is the tech industry marking its tasks and then hiding the devastating results ”.

The Wall Street Journal’s allegations worry the world

The NSPCC children’s charity said it was “scary” than Facebook has not yet acted.

Andy Burrowsthe head of online security policy at the NSPCC, said: “Instead of working to make the site safe, they thwarted researchers, regulators and governments and conducted a PR and lobbying campaign in an attempt to prove otherwise.”

In Washington, the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee said it would investigated the revelations. She also revealed that she is in contact with a Facebook whistleblower.

“It is clear that Facebook is incapable of holding itself accountable,” the US senators said Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn. They then continued, stating:

“When given the opportunity to confess their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive and misleading responses. It also covered clear evidence of significant damage ”.

Karina Newton, Instagram’s chief of public policy, said in a post on Tuesday: “While the story focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light, we support this research. It demonstrates our commitment to understanding the complex and difficult problems young people face. It also shows all the work we do to help those who experience these problems ”.