The Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), a think thank specialist in the regulatory systems of the digital and network industries, brought together on Monday May 18, 2020 the president and CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the European Commissioner in charge of the Internal Market, the French Thierry Breton, during a debate broadcast live on YouTube. The two leaders, not always of the same opinion, found points of convergence.
Mark Zuckerberg calls on the EU to regulate to become an example to the world
The hottest news on Facebook is moderation and the management of disinformation. If the two personalities agree on the need for regulation, the method opposes them. This was one of the most discussed points between Mark Zuckerberg and Thierry Breton. The European commissioner warned the Facebook boss that big tech companies, including social media, could soon be subject to stricter rules if they don’t step up their efforts to fight disinformation.
“In the end, as CEO, you are the only one responsible, no one else is,” noted Thierry Breton, who recalled having already invited the “Zuck” to comply with standards European, linking disinformation to the thorny issue of regulations.
In this regard, Mark Zuckerberg always takes the opposite position. The Facebook boss says it is not his company to participate in regulation and calls on the European Union to be the model of the world by regulating new technologies, and that this becomes a standard for the rest of the world. The leader targets in particular China, and is worried “to see this model spreading in other countries” , while affirming that “the best antidote would be to have a clear regulatory framework which would come from Western democracies, and which would become the standard all over the world. ”
To justify his suggestion, Zuckerberg takes the GDPR as an example, taken up by several countries in versions that are sometimes almost equivalent.
Thierry Breton puts pressure on Facebook and major platforms
Thierry Breton, he maintains his position in that it encourages platforms to do more to fight against disinformation, with false information disseminated in mass with the coronavirus . “It’s a huge problem. We are chatting with many people, including Mark, and I really appreciate the efforts. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t,” said the former minister.
The EU, which is preparing a law on digital services via the European Commission which could be a severe obstacle to the American tech giants by limiting some of their powers, therefore maintains the pressure. The text should touch on hateful content but also, and this detail probably annoys much more Mark Zuckerberg, the abuses of dominance of large digital companies.
Thierry Breton also took advantage of his interview with Mark Zuckerberg to congratulate Facebook but also other platforms, such as YouTube, Disney + or Netflix, for helping to keep the networks in working order at the height of the Covid-19 crisis in notably switching from HD resolution to standard quality when necessary, and moreover being very reactive. The call from the former boss of Atos had actually been heard in “less than 24 hours” in Europe.