UK News Media Association calls for 'urgent investigation' into Google, Facebook, and fake news

9 Mar 2017

In its submission to the UK Culture, Media and Sport committee's inquiry into fake news, The British News Media Association (NMA) calls for an 'urgent investigation into the impact of Google, Facebook, and a digital advertising supply chain', as UK news outlets are 'squeezed by the Facebook-Google duopoly and by new forms of digital advertising that very often bypass real news for fake'. In addition to an examination of their business models and other underlying issues of the digital advertising supply chain, the NMA urges the government to review the regulatory status of Google and Facebook as 'mere intermediaries'. 

 

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Intermediaries play a vital role in ensuring Internet functionality. In several Internet governance areas, such as copyright infringement and spam, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are considered key online intermediaries. In other areas, such as defamation and the so-called right to be forgotten, the responsibility extends to hosts of online content and search engines.

One of the main sociocultural issues is content policy, often addressed from the standpoints of human rights (freedom of expression and the right to communicate), government (content control), and technology (tools for content control). Discussions usually focus on three groups of content:

 

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