Talk of ‘Banning Social Media’ for failure to protect viewers is avoiding the real solution.
Previously published in January this year.
There’s one missing, a regulator we definitely need and don’t yet have. A social media regulator.
As it stands, when Facebook, who also own Whatsapp, fail in their responsibly to keep audiences safe, and a child dies, who does what?
An MP might start talking about ‘banning them’ … which is laughable, it will never happen, it would be the end of democracy and it’s ridiculous, a pretend getting tough. MPs can’t even tax these companies, never mind ban them. It’s headline grabbing, nothing more.
We need a regulator who can actually do something.
And be ‘something’ we mean fines, hard fines, based on a business model all tech media understands. Pay per click.
Fine per click, fine per view.
Here’s how it could work with images of suicide promotion, say, as an example.
Images and videos reported to the regulator by the users of the platform.
The Regulator immediately reports to the tech company via a ‘direct line’. Much more efficient for everyone.
From the second it’s reported by the regulator the media platform is fined for every view, every click, every share, every interaction. Set a fixed price, say £20 for the first 1000 views, increasing to £50 thereafter.
Suddenly Facebook, or WhatsApp, or whoever, is getting fined hard for the content, now watch just how fast they can act.
Those posts would come down in seconds.
A social media regulator is a must for our society, driven as it is, by social media. It’s ridiculous we don’t have one. Yet. Let’s be very clear about this. Facebook, and WhatsApp, have clearly demonstrated time and time again they either cannot or will not regulate themselves and their harmful content. It’s killing people.
If we start fining them for their harmful content, on a per view basis, they will suddenly find the will to act. Until then, nothing will change.