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It may be time to hit Google and Facebook where it hurts
Source: James Titcomb




One theory about why today's dominant internet giants have struggled to get a grip on unsavoury parts of their networks, such as terrorist material, fake news and explicit pictures, is that it is simply not in their interest.

For Facebook and Google, finding the right way to censor online content - the line between extremist propaganda and newsworthy images, or between deliberately fake news and a merely misleading story - is harder than just not doing much about it, especially when their massive size means they have to rely more on technology instead of humans to police their sites.

Overzealous algorithms that block legitimate posts and links, irritating users, represent more of a danger than over-tolerant ones that allow illegal or unpleasant content. Besides, that content is never created by Google or Facebook, they are merely conduits for it.

Above all, there have been few financial consequences - either to advertising revenues or in the form of legal penalties - for failures.



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