Facebook a Law-Breaking “Digital Gangster:” U.K. Government Report

The social media giant said it responded to over 700 questions for the report.

Mark Zuckerberg
Investors aren't happy with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / February 19, 2019 11:50 am

Facebook said it is willing to face “meaningful regulation” after U.K. lawmakers accused it of acting like a “digital gangster.”

The House of Commons’ report says that the social media company has knowingly violated laws and helped spread Russian misinformation during elections, according to Ars Technica.

“Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” the report said. “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.”

Facebook responded by saying it “share[s] the committee’s concerns about false news and election integrity and [is] 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.”

But Committee Chair Damian Collins, a member of Parliament from the Conservative Party, said that Facebook did not fully cooperate with the investigation, according to Ars Technica.

“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,” Collins said.

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