Facebook manager Mark Zuckerberg said on Saturday that governments should play a greater role in regulating the Internet and quote four areas where he believes there is a need for better rules.
Zuckerberg said that new rules are needed to protect the community from harmful content, ensure choice privacy, protect people's privacy and ensure data portability.
Facebook has faced a stream of public criticism over the handling of Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential elections and policies against hate speech that many governments and users consider salmon. At the same time, conservative lawmakers in the United States have accused Facebook of political bias and censorship.
Zuckerberg proposed to regulate harmful content by setting up independent bodies to set standards for what is considered terrorist propaganda and hate speech and is therefore prohibited.
"Internet companies should be responsible for enforcing malicious content standards," Zuckerberg said. "It is impossible to remove all harmful content from the internet, but when people use dozens of different sharing services ̵[ads1]1; all with their own policies and processes – we need a more standardized approach."
Facebook also creates an independent body so people can complain about decisions to take down certain content. Zuckerberg said Facebook is currently working with governments, including French officials, to ensure that content review systems are effective.
Zuckerberg also urged governments to pass legislation to regulate political ads on the Internet, saying that despite Facebook's efforts It is difficult to determine when an ad is to be considered political.
"Our systems would be more effective if regulation created common standards for verifying political actors," Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook CEO also approved a global framework to protect people's privacy in line with the EU's general data protection regulation: "I think it would be good for the internet if several countries adopted regulation like GDPR as a common framework," Said Zuckerberg.
He also requested regulation to ensure data portability so that users can move data between services. Zuckerberg approved a standard data transfer format towards this end.
"This is important for the internet – and for creating services people want," he said. "But this requires clear rules on who is responsible for protecting information as it moves between services."
Technology is a big part of our lives, and companies like Facebook have huge responsibilities. Every day, we make decisions about which speech is harmful, what means political advertising, and how to prevent sophisticated cyber attacks. These are important for keeping the community safe. But if we started from scratch, we would not ask companies to do these judgments alone.
I think we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules of the internet, we can preserve what is best about it – the freedom of people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things – while protecting society from broader harm.
From what I have learned, I think we need new regulation in four areas: malicious content, choice integrity, privacy and data portability.
First, malicious content. Facebook gives everyone a way to use their voice, and it creates real benefits – from sharing experiences with growing movements. As part of this, we have a responsibility to keep people safe from our services. That means deciding what counts as terrorist propaganda, hate speech and more. We constantly review our policies with experts, but on our scale we will always make mistakes and decisions that people do not agree with.
Lawmakers often tell me that we have too much power over speech, and honestly I agree. I have come to believe that we should not make so many important decisions on speech alone. So we create an independent body so people can appeal our decisions. We also work with governments, including French officials, to ensure the effectiveness of content review systems.
Internet companies should be responsible for enforcing malicious content standards. It is impossible to remove all harmful content from the internet, but when people use dozens of different sharing services – all with their own policies and processes – we need a more standardized approach.
One idea is that third-party agencies should set standards governing the distribution of malicious content and measure companies against these standards. Regulation can lay the groundwork for what is prohibited and requires companies to build systems to keep harmful content to a minimum.
Facebook is already publishing transparency reports on how effectively we remove malicious content. I believe that every major internet service should do this quarterly because it is just as important as financial reporting. When we understand the prevalence of harmful content, we can see which companies are better and where we should set the baselines.
Secondly, legislation is important for protecting elections. Facebook has already made significant changes to political ads: Advertisers in many countries need to verify their identities before buying political ads. We have built a searchable archive that shows who pays for ads, what other ads they ran, and what audience saw the ads. However, deciding whether an ad is political is not always straightforward. Our systems would be more effective if regulation created common standards to verify political actors.
Online political advertising law focuses primarily on candidates and elections, rather than fragmented political problems where we have seen more attempts at disruption. Some laws apply only during elections, although information campaigns are non-stop. And there are also important questions about how political campaigns use data and targeting. We believe that legislation should be updated to reflect the reality of the threats and set standards for the entire industry.
Third, effective privacy and data protection need a globally harmonized framework. People around the world have called for comprehensive privacy regulation in line with the EU's general data protection regulation, and I agree. I think it would be good for the Internet if several countries adopted regulation like GDPR as a common framework.
New privacy regulations in the United States and around the world should be based on the protection offered by GDPR. It should protect your right to choose how your information is used – while allowing companies to use information for security purposes and to provide services. It should not require data to be stored locally, which will make it more vulnerable to unauthorized access. And it should establish a way to keep companies like Facebook accountable by imposing sanctions when we make mistakes.
I also believe in a common global framework – rather than regulation that varies considerably from country to state – will ensure that the internet does not break it, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protection.
As legislators adopt new privacy rules, I hope they can answer some of the questions that GDPR goes out. We need clear rules when information can be used to serve the public interest and how it should apply to new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Finally, regulation should ensure the principle of data portability. If you share data with a service, you should be able to move it to another. This gives people choices and allows developers to innovate and compete.
This is important for the internet – and for creating services that people want. That's why we built our development platform. True data portability should look like how people use our platform to sign in to an app than the existing ways you can download an archive of your information. However, this requires clear rules on who is responsible for protecting information as it moves between services.
This also needs common standards, and therefore we support a standard data transfer format and open source Data Transfer Project.
I think Facebook is responsible for solving these issues, and I look forward to discussing them with lawmakers worldwide. We've built sophisticated systems to find malicious content, stop election interference, and make your ads more transparent. But people should not trust some companies that take care of these problems by themselves. We should have a broader debate on what we want as a society and how regulation can help. These four areas are important, but of course there is more to discuss.
The rules of the internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people's lives. It is time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, businesses, and governments in the future.