Belfast Telegraph

MP raps tech firms over fake news as Facebook's Zuckerberg visits Dublin

Discussions: Mark Zuckerberg
Discussions: Mark Zuckerberg

By Staff Reporters

Tech companies have "only shifted superficially" in their approach to privacy since the start of the fake news inquiry, a committee chairman has said.

The "ongoing" threats to democracy will be combated by a government sub-committee on disinformation which will be headed up by Conservative MP Damian Collins.

Mr Collins said the lack of action was "unacceptable" and vowed that the body, set up by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), would continue to apply pressure.

It will also build on knowledge gained from the inquiry, which began in September 2017 and culminated in a final report released in February.

As the announcement was being made in London, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was in Dublin to assure politicians he will work with governments to establish new policies in a bid to regulate social media.

The Facebook boss met with Hildegarde Naughton, James Lawless and Eamon Ryan - three members of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News - at a hotel to discuss plans on how to regulate the internet.

The firm's founder told the Irish politicians that issues around child protection and age verification are of "huge concern" to him.

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He also visited Facebook's offices in Dublin, the tech giant's European headquarters, as part of his visit to the Republic.

Mr Zuckerberg refused to answer questions from the media about online child safety as he left the Merrion Hotel.

Ms Naughton later described the meeting as being "positive and constructive".

Belfast Telegraph