In a year of enhanced scrutiny of internet companies, the latest example is a group of British broadcasters lobbying for Facebook, Google and Twitter to face more regulation by a new watchdog created specifically for the purpose.
Executives from the BBC, Sky, ITV, Channel 4, BT and Talk Talk signed a letter to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper – this is how we Brits lobby for internet regulation, if you’re wondering: we write letters to newspapers! – calling for the creation of the new body.
“We do not think it is realistic or appropriate to expect internet and social media companies to make all the judgment calls about what content is and is not acceptable, without any independent oversight,” they explained.
“There is an urgent need for independent scrutiny of the decisions taken, and greater transparency. This is not about censoring the internet, it is about making the most popular internet platforms safer, by ensuring there is accountability and transparency over the decisions these private companies are already taking.”
Copyright issues aren’t the focus here, but they could certainly fall into the responsibilities of such a watchdog – and bear in mind with the UK set to exit the European Union in March next year, it will be responsible for charting a new path on all kinds of regulations, safe harbour included.