Fake News Paranoia: UK Wants to Regulate Google and Facebook Seeks Regulation

Government paranoia over "Fake News" has reached a fever pitch in the US and Europe. Proposed solutions are ludicrous

The New York Times reports Britain Proposes Broad New Powers to Regulate Internet Content.

Britain proposed sweeping new government powers to regulate the internet to combat the spread of violent and extremist content, false information and harmful material aimed at children. The proposal, announced on Monday, would be one of the world’s most aggressive actions to rein in the most corrosive online content.

The recommendations, backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, take direct aim at Facebook, Google and other large internet platforms that policymakers believe have made growth and profits a priority over curbing harmful material. The government called for naming an internet regulator with the power to issue fines, block access to websites if necessary and make individual executives legally liable for harmful content spread on their platforms.

Facebook Invites Regulation

On Saturday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled: The Internet Needs New Rules.

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.

Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree. I’ve come to believe that we shouldn’t make so many important decisions about speech on our own. So we’re creating an independent body so people can appeal our decisions. We’re also working with governments, including French officials, on ensuring the effectiveness of content review systems.

Self Serving Bullsheet

ZeroHedge hits the nail squarely on the head in UK To Fine Facebook, Google For Hosting Terrorist Content.

The cat and mouse game between the world's largest media company and global governments continues.

Just days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for more government regulation in an attempt to mollify the company's growing critics, while seeking to squash smaller competitors as well as give governments a legitimate reason to enforce censorship and chip away at freedom of speech in order to comply with Facebook's mysterious "community standards", the company and its tech peers are facing a new UK law that will impose "substantial" fines, or even ban companies if they don’t act swiftly enough to remove content that encourages terrorism and child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Additionally, hinting that Facebook is now openly seen as a media empire instead of merely a distributor of content, the companies’ directors could also be held personally liable if illegal content is not taken down within a short and pre-determined time-frame, the UK's Home Office said, which is also seeking to tackle the spread of fake news and interference in elections.

In short: wholesale government censorship under the guise of cracking down on the private sector.

Ding Ding Ding

We have a winner, but let's lay it on the line more clearly.

Zuckerberg made billions promoting sleaze, selling user data, and with few if any data controls.

The best way to stay on top is to prohibit any other company from doing the same.

Thus, all of a sudden Facebook proposes to be an angel. It will even offer services that undoubtedly will cost money in one way or another at a future time.

Meanwhile, the government will get to decide what is fake news and isn't. Zuckerberg is more than happy to get in bed with the government as long as it makes him more money and stifles the competition.

Fitting Irony

The irony in this madness is Zuckerberg posted his op-ed in the Washington Post, one of the biggest purveyor of false news on Russia and Trump in general.


Please be wary of wolves disguises as sheep who then demand government protection from themselves.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (21)
No. 1-13

"Britain proposed sweeping new government powers ...."

That's what governments, and their courts of privileged totalitarian terror state profiteers, do. It's all that they do. Ever.


Once upon a time, liberals believed in free speech. That no longer seems to be true.


I had friends and family behind the "Iron Curtain" when the Soviets still had a iron hand.

They would joke " We have plenty of free speech here. As long as you agree with the government, you can talk as much as you want!"


Calm down everybody - this is mountain from molehill stuff.

Firstly, Facebook is dead - the kids are gone and the oldies are using it less and less. The demise of Facebook will have nothing to do with the U.K. forcing it to act like a media platform instead of a messaging platform - it will be superseded by another social media platform sooner or later. We heard the same doom and gloom stuff about MSFT in the 1990's and early 2000's - now they are a business services provider and their once dominant operating system is a small and relatively unimportant part of the stack.

As far as suppression of free speech, it is infuriating that the left has become the purity of speech party - Sam Harris and Bill Maher have been railing on about this for years. This is a far cry from targeting terrorist or child-dangerous material, and it is disingenuous to mix the two.


The rules should be if you are publishing online content you can be liable.