Facebook says it is open to ‘meaningful regulation’ as IAB responds to DCMS report

Facebook says it is open to ‘meaningful regulation’ as IAB responds to DCMS report

In the wake of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) report into the spreading of disinformation, that has called for regulation to be introduced for online platforms such as Facebook, the platform has claimed to be open to the notion.

Within the report, the social media giant was referred to as a “digital gangster” and a recommendation made that it be classed as “a new category of tech company” which would be positioned between both publisher and platform.

"Facebook's handling of personal data, and its use for political campaigns, are prime and legitimate areas for inspection by regulators, and it should not be able to evade all editorial responsibility for the content shared by its users across its platforms," the report also claimed.

The report, initiated after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, clearly recommended that regulation of digital platforms be implemented while stating its finding that Facebook “intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws”

“We share the committee's concerns about false news and election integrity and are pleased to have made a significant contribution to their investigation over the past 18 months, answering more than 700 questions and with four of our most senior executives giving evidence,” a spokesperson for Facebook said.

"We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee's recommendation for electoral law reform.

"But we're not waiting. We have already made substantial changes so that every political ad on Facebook has to be authorised, state who is paying for it and then is stored in a searchable archive for seven years. No other channel for political advertising is as transparent and offers the tools that we do."

Meanwhile, in the wake of the report, the IAB in Britain highlighted to The Drum the need for transparency in the advertising community.

Facebook, Google and other digital platforms have long been described as ‘walled gardens’ for refusing to offer much insight into the workings of advertising performance while also facing criticism for the spread of Fake News in recent years.

Jon Mew, chief executive of the IAB told The Drum: “Having submitted written evidence back in March 2017 and sat before the Committee in January 2018, we’d echo the DCMS’ view that where it applies to digital advertising, increased transparency is absolutely critical to the future of our industry.”

He continued: “Our belief continues to be that online advertising is regulated effectively by the Advertising Standards Authority, who are world-renowned for the vital role they play in keeping advertising legal, decent, honest and truthful.

“We exist to make sure digital advertising has a sustainable future and so will continue to work closely with Government and policymakers across a number of transparency-led initiatives, some of which have involved us spending time in Parliament helping MPs and their advisors better understand the online advertising ecosystem.”

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