Following on from Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to appear before MPs in Blighty (Blog updated 1st May 2018) to answer about how F’bookers data may have been manipulated for more than any troll could imagine in his wet dreams under his bridge:
Social media companies snub meeting with the Culture Secretary (dailymail.co.uk).
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted the government does not have the power it needs over social media companies after 10 firms snubbed his invitation for talks.
10 out of the 14 of the largest social media companies that were invited. Oh dear.
Mr Hancock has announced new laws will be introduced to tackle the internet’s “wild west” to make Britain the “safest place in the world” to be online.
And telling on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that it showed Britain did not have the power it needed to make it said safest place in world, and that legislation is needed to prevent need for another referendum to decide if Blighty should pull out of the rest of the internet as well the European Union.
“The fact that only four companies turned up when I invited the 14 biggest in gave me a big impetus to drive this proposal to legislate through.”
Which we can understand as a big impetus to “give me” something to do and be in charge of ad hoc legislating proposals outlined by the Government last year on an industry-wide levy on social media firms to fund measures tackling online harm. Getting some of them to pay more tax may be an idea too but since F’book was given that “sweethearts deal” by Chancellor Osbourne in 2016 (theguardian.com, Jan. 2016) there’s more chance of all 14 largest social media companies turning up to meet Culture Secretary Hancock Hancock and bringing their own biscuits too.
Interestingly, Hancock, a junior minister responsible for digital policy within the Culture department who was promoted to Culture Secretary during PM May’s “Night of the Blunt Stiletto” cabinet reshuffle at the start of the year is the first MP to launch his own smartphone app which, alas, the head of privacy rights group Big Brother Watch called a “fascinating comedy of errors” after app was found to collect its users’ photographs, friend details, check-ins, and contact information (Wikipedia). Oh dear.
And Government interest may remind some of David Cameron’s distraction tactic of blaming porn on the internet for everything (Blog 31st Jul. 2015) and the need for him to sort it out before finally quitting after losing EU Referendum.
And like the deal no-deal because we didn’t really have a plan farce that is Brexit, doing rather than saying proves somewhat different:
Law to rein in social media firms still two years away, says Hancock (theguardian.com).
In a round of media interviews, Hancock said there was no date for legislation but it would be in the “next couple of years”, and he said he was launching a consultation document ahead of a white paper in the autumn.
But that in the meantime it’s certainly giving him something to do.
- Facebook unveils dating feature; not so much a rival for Tinder but something to help middle-aged get laid (Latest Picks 3rd May 2018)
- Pressure mounts on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook over harvested data scandal (Blog 18th March 2018)