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UK lawmakers condemn Mark Zuckerberg: Suggest a compulsory code of ethics

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On Monday, the British lawmakers proposed that Facebook along with other tech giants should maintain compliance with a code of ethics. Problems like the spread of fake news, bullying of smaller firms, and the abuse of users’ data are becoming relentless and the code of ethics will mainly focus on controlling these.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee of the UK parliament suggested that companies like Facebook have failed to stop the spread of harmful content on their platforms. In a report, Mark Zuckerberg was criticised for a failure of leadership and personal responsibility.

Damian Collins, the committee chairman said: “The guiding principle of the ‘move fast and break things’ culture often seems to be that it is better to apologize than ask permission.”

“We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people.”

“The rights of the citizen needs to be established in statute, by requiring the tech companies to adhere to a code of conduct written into law by Parliament, and overseen by an independent regulator,” he added.

The committee focused on Facebook during its inquiry, which lasted for 18 months, on the account of Christopher Wylie’s statement. He alleged that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of millions of users on Facebook.

Following that, Zuckerberg apologized last year for a “breach of trust.”

Collins said: “We believe that in its evidence to the committee Facebook has often deliberately sought to frustrate our work, by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at times misleading answers to our questions.”

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.”

According to the lawmakers, society is being threatened as people are highly dependant on the tech giants like Facebook and its subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp.

The lawmakers also believe that misinformation and personalized promotions have been targeting the netizens and resulting in a threat to democracy. They also said that social media platforms have failed to secure the privacy of the users. On top of that, big companies are benefiting from their magnitude to bully smaller companies as those rely on bigger platforms for promotions.

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