Tags: london mayor | sadiq khan | social media companies | accept | responsibility

London Mayor: Social Media Companies Must Accept Responsibility

London Mayor: Social Media Companies Must Accept Responsibility
(David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 01:47 PM

The world's social media companies need to accept their responsibility not to be used to incite hatred and spread false information, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Monday, before he was to take the stage at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) tech conference in Austin, Texas.

"I am also explaining that in my view I think politicians and policymakers have been vacating the field when it comes to the tech revolution taking place around us," Khan told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Social media platforms have been a source of massive, massive benefit and good. We use it to keep in touch with our loved ones, to keep in contact with friends, to access information, and it's great."

However, in recent years, social media is being used to spread fake information and sow hatred, he added.

"I think what needs to happen is the tech companies have got to realize they have a social responsibility to make sure they're not amplifying messages of hate," said Khan. "If they don't, I'm afraid they'll have more of the regulation we've seen in countries like Germany."

In that country, if social media companies are used to spread fake news or hate and don't bring down the language or images down within 24 hours, they get "massive, massive fines," said Khan.

Meanwhile, Khan said London and Great Britain are coming to terms with President Donald Trump in the White House.

"I don't think you appreciate how much Americans and America are loved and appreciated. Not just in London and the UK, but around the world," he said. "You're a beacon of liberty. We enjoy your music, your films, your culture. The innovation taking place with the tech giants. One of the consequences of having a special relationship is very similar to being best friends. When you have a best friend, of course you stand shoulder to shoulder with them in times of adversity."

But also, part of being a "best friend" is calling the other party out and telling them when they're wrong.

"We're under no illusion that your president doesn't speak for all Americans," said Khan. "Many, many Americans, the people on a daily basis in London, businesspeople, tourist, student, those who are artists, and many, many others, don't necessarily agree with the views of your president. Why would they?"

In any healthy democracy, there are always people who will disagree with a leader, said Khan, but he is worried "about the perception people will have over your great country because of the things your president may have tweeted or said elsewhere."

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The world's social media companies need to accept their responsibility not to be used to incite hatred and spread false information, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Monday, before he was to take the stage at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) tech conference in Austin,...
london mayor, sadiq khan, social media companies, accept, responsibility
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2018-47-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 01:47 PM
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