Tech

Facebooks Zuckerberg calls out Chinese internet model

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned against the spread of Chinas internet regulation model, saying it disregards human rights, during an online debate with the EUs Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton on Monday.

“That [spread] is really dangerous. I worry about that kind of model spreading to other countries,” Zuckerberg said, referring to countries that might be influenced by Chinas example.

“The best antidote is having a clear regulatory framework that comes out of Western democratic countries and can become a standard around the world,” he added at the online event organized by the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE).

Its not the first time the CEO, who recently turned 36, has criticized Chinas regulatory model. In October last year, he slammed what he referred to as Chinese censorship, accusing Facebook rival TikTok of complying with government censorship of messages about Hong Kong protests. (TikTok has denied this.)

Since the pandemic hit, Zuckerberg has tried to rebrand Facebook as a responsible actor willing to help communities by proactively fighting disinformation, helping SMEs with a $100 million grant program and providing funding to local newspapers affected by the crisis.

Zuckerberg said he was in favor of “deeper cooperation and partnership with democratic institutions,” acknowledging a need for regulation.

While Breton dismissed Zuckerbergs plans for platform regulation when they first met in February, the tone has slightly shifted since. The EU commissioner praised Facebooks recently announced Oversight Board, a group of independent experts and former lawmakers who will act as Facebooks supreme court for content moderation disputes.

Breton called for a new governance model between platforms and institutions. “This is really what Im trying to build,” he said. “The less I will regulate, the better … because well be able to act faster. But at the end of the day, if we cant find a way, we will regulate.”

Zuckerberg said he was in favor of “deeper cooperation and partnership with democratic institutions,” acknowledging a need for regulation.

“The question is whose [regulatory] framework is going to win around the world,” Zuckerberg said, opposing a Western, democratic model against Chinas. “Thats going to get decided in the next five to 10 years. A lot of other countries are looking at China and the companies coming out of there.

“One of the things Ive appreciated about the Europeans is that when the EU sets policies, it becomes a standard around the world,” he added, referring to Europes flagship privacy reform that came into force almost two years ago.

Be careful

And the EU has plenty of upcoming platform regulations in store.

The Commission is preparing for the end of the year or early next year the Digital Services Act, a package of laws on how companies police illegal content online that will also include ex-ante requirements for so-called gatekeeper platforms. The future laws will target Facebook.

“It worked very well for telecoms and we will do the same with platforms, who can play a very important role. Mark spoke about SMEs, its my role to ensure that SMEsRead More – Source