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EU Rejects Facebook Proposal On Content Moderation, Suggests To Adapt To Local Regulations

EU Rejects Facebook Proposal On Content Moderation, Suggests To Adapt To Local Regulations

Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) proposed framework for internet regulations have been rejected by the European Union (EU).

On EU Standards

Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry commissioner, held a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday ahead of the European Commission’s release of new laws relating to artificial intelligence (AI). According to CNBC, the EU’s far sweeping changes could involve a temporary ban on facial recognition. After the meeting, Breton said about Facebook, “It’s not for us to adapt to this company, it’s for this company to adapt to us.” 

Breton rejected Facebook’s discussion paper issued on Monday, where it had suggested setting flexible rules, which would have allowed companies like Facebook to report content periodically and publish enforcement data. Breton told media after the meeting that Facebook had failed to mention its market dominance or spell out its responsibilities. 

EU On Social Responsibility

The EU official said, “Online platforms, and in particular its society, now have ... an obvious responsibility towards our fellow citizens, towards all of us, towards those who are users of its society, and also towards democracy.” According to Deutsche Welle (DW), Breton also promised stricter intervention in the future if all the platforms operating on the European continent do not respect the conditions he has outlined.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive vice president of Europe Fit for the Digital Age, also joined the meeting. DW reported that Vestager is expected to showcase plans centered on creating a single EU data market. These plans, to be released on Wednesday, would counter the American and Chinese tech dominance of Europe.

Why It Matters

Facebook has come under fire on political advertising. Some high profile celebrities have quit the social media platform citing Facebook’s stance on how it shows political advertisements.

Zuckerberg has also been calling for more regulation of social media platforms. At the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Feb.15, he said, “We don't want private companies making so many decisions about how to balance social equities without any more democratic process.” The BBC reported that Zuckerberg had admitted Facebook had been slow in recognizing the development of co-ordinated online information campaigns by Russia.

Silicon Valley Proposes But EU Disposes

The New York Times reports that the EU’s new AI rules will have “important consequences” for large American companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google. All these companies are invested heavily in AI.

The result of the proposed rules has been a  flurry of meetings this week between the regional bloc and Silicon Valley heads. Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) senior vice president for artificial intelligence John Giannandrea, have also made the rounds of Brussels. 

Price Action

Facebook shares were unchanged at $214.18 in the after-hours market on Friday. The shares had closed 1.04% higher, at $214.18.


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