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18th July 2018 | Digital, Press Releases

Greens: Social media business model has to change

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Revenue streams cannot be dependent on promoting sensationalist content, says Ryan

Responding to last night’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan said today: “The revelations on Channel 4 last night about the monitoring and management of harmful content on the Facebook platform raises serious questions about the company’s business model.

“In no other walk of life would you be allowed to profit from providing a platform for hate speech or the other harmful material which were seen to be tolerated in this excellent piece of undercover reporting.

“The company has apologised and admitted that what was revealed was wrong but it needs to go further and change its whole business model so that their revenues are not tied to promoting the most sensationalist content.

“In a letter to the Facebook Community last year Mark Zuckerberg asked the question: ‘are we building the world we want?’ When you look at what happened in the Brexit and Trump elections and at the sort of material that was shown last night. The answer is clearly no.

“As the home of the European headquarters of most of these social media companies, Ireland has a special responsibility to help set the right regulatory standards. We need the Data Protection Commissioner to take a much more direct role in monitoring what the company is doing on a day to day basis. As legislators we have to consider new rules which will encourage a more responsible business model which builds real community rather than undermining it for short term profit.”