UK Says Facebook's Approach To Illegal Content Is 'Shameful'

The manner in which Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants regulate illegal content is "shameful," the United Kingdom's Home Affairs Select Committee wrote in a report published on Monday. Members of the Committee of the House of Commons in the UK Parliament harshly criticized numerous social media companies whose services are popular in the country and stated that they aren't doing enough to remove extremist and otherwise illegal content from their online platforms. The report published by the Committee follows shortly after several Members of the Parliament (MPs) said that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other major Internet companies operating in the country should be hit with criminal charges if they don't improve their techniques of sanctioning content posted by extremist recruiters, abusers, promoters of hate speech, and other similar individuals and organizations.

Chairman of the Committee, MP Yvette Cooper, acknowledged the fact that social media companies are swift to act when politicians, journalists, and the general public in the country raise issues with particularly disturbing and otherwise illegal content posted on their platforms but noted how those firms shouldn't rely on public outrage to help them identify such issues. Instead, Cooper argues that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media giants should devise a more effective set of tools for tracking and eliminating illegal content, adding that they're still "shamefully far" from doing so despite having the necessary talent to accomplish such a feat. The report criticizing social media companies was published in the run-up to this year's general election in the country that's scheduled to take place in early June, with Cooper and other members of the board noting how they're hoping that their successors will return to this pressing issue, particularly the problem of online hate speech.

All of the Internet giants criticized by the MPs have already stated that they're looking to heed their advice in the future, adding how they've already been employing a number of measures for tackling hate speech and other illegal content posted through their services for years. It remains to be seen whether the new UK parliament and its Home Affairs Select Committee will be as adamant to pressure social media companies over these issues in the future, but an update on the situation should follow shortly.

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