May 19 (UPI) — Thierry Breton, the EUROPEAN Union’s industry chief, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended a debate at the European Regulatory Center on Monday to discuss the role of Internet governance and social media platforms in the new coronavirus outbreak,media reported. The two men were at odds during the live debate.
If Zuckerberg doesn’t allay concerns about the company’s business practices and market forces, Facebook will face more regulation, Mr. Brereton said.
“Ultimately, if we can’t find a way, of course we’ll regulate,” Brereton said. He later added, “It will be Mark, not the others. “
The spread of the outbreak has led to a drop in Facebook’s advertising revenue, and the company has been fighting violent hate speech, fake messages and fraudulent posts on its platform.
In February, Zuckerberg and Breton met face-to-face in Brussels. The debate comes as the EU prepares to introduce new laws aimed at regulating technology platforms and defining the responsibility of users to post. And all these new regulations could affect Facebook’s business.
“I don’t think there will be a regulatory issue. I think the question is whose framework will win around the world,” Zuckerberg said.
“The best way to solve this problem is to have a clear regulatory framework,” he said. We have a shared responsibility to help drive this system. “
Zuckerberg acknowledged the EU’s role in global technology regulation. The EU’s sweeping privacy laws have forced Facebook, Google and other companies to change the way they collect user data and influence other countries.
Mr Brereton, 65, joined the new European Commission in December as the EU’s industry chief, a position that gives him broad portfolio jurisdiction, including the so-called Digital Services Act, which will completely redefine the platform’s legal responsibility for posting content on its website. Margrethe Vestager, an EU technology expert, oversaw the work. She has earned her reputation as “the fiercest rival of big tech companies” for issuing huge antitrust fines for companies such as Alphabet’s Google.
“If you understand our values, then you know how to do it,” Breton said in response to Zuckerberg’s comments. He added that it required companies not to exclude competitors and to “be careful of false information.” “
Mr Brereton, a former chief executive of information technology company Atos and a former french finance minister, has been trying to make a mark on his short EU tenure. Mr. Breton is a frequent interviewee, boasting about his tough approach to discussions with Silicon Valley executives.
Zuckerberg praised previous collaborations with Mr. Breton, including efforts by EU officials to push Facebook, Netflix and Google’s YouTube to reduce video streaming to ease congestion during the outbreak.
Mr Zuckerberg has previously called for more regulation of harmful content and privacy on the Internet, but this has raised questions about the sincerity of his efforts. A white paper published in February outlined Facebook’s vision for regulating harmful online content and promoted some of the measures it has already implemented. These include broadening the channels through which users can report content and requiring regular public disclosure of the company’s actions to remove bad posts. (Chenchen)