Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg calls for more regulation of the internet

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has been under scrutiny for the social media company’s role in spreading misinformation and inadequately policing violent content, is calling for regulators to play a “more active role” in establishing rules for the internet.

Zuckerberg called for stricter regulation of “harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability” in an op-ed published Saturday on his official Facebook account and in the Washington Post.

“I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators,” he wrote. “By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it – the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things – while also protecting society from broader harms.”

Facebook was roundly condemned this month when it failed to stop a live stream by the suspect in the New Zealand terrorist attack that killed 50 people. The platform has also faced a litany of scandals, ranging from hate speech to privacy, and criticism over the spread of fake news, especially during national elections.

The missive was the most comprehensive the Facebook CEO has ever been on the issue of government regulation.

“Every day, we make decisions about what speech is harmful, what constitutes political advertising, and how to prevent sophisticated cyberattacks. These are important for keeping our community safe. But if we were starting from scratch, we wouldn’t ask companies to make these judgments alone.”

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