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Public wants social media firms to deal with abuses

An overwhelming majority of the public believe social media companies do not do enough to tackle bullying, illegal activities and the spreading of extremist content on their sites, a survey has found.

Most people (64%) think companies like Facebook and Twitter are not regulated enough and lack transparency (63%), according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.

Just over half (57%) believe social media firms take advantage of users' loneliness and 62% think they are selling people's data without their knowledge.

It showed seven in 10 people believe social media companies do not do enough to stop illegal or unethical behaviour on their platforms, to prevent the sharing of extremist content or do enough to prevent bullying.

Around one-third (34%) do not think social media is a force for good in society.

Facebook, Twitter and other online giants have faced intense criticism from MPs over the way they deal with offensive or extreme content and the Government has warned they face penalties if they refuse to tighten up controls.

Ed Williams, chief executive officer of Edelman UK, said: "After a flood of negative headlines in 2017, it's time these companies sat up and listened. The public want action on key issues related to online protection, and to see their concerns addressed through better regulation."

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