back to article Facebook, Google slammed for 'commercial prostitution'

Google, Twitter and Facebook were hauled over the coals by MPs yesterday in a select committee hearing in where they were accused of "having no shame" and engaging in "commercial prostitution". The hearing was on the topic of online hate and what the social media/advertising platforms are doing to combat its proliferation …

  1. lansalot

    profitting from hate?

    You read the Daily Mail and such lately? You'd be as well starting with them, at least their content is produced by them, purposely and wilfully.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: profitting from hate?

      They do get occasionally fined and slapped on wrist, though the laws that apply to them already are obviously poorly enforced!

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: profitting from hate?

        As the police refuse to enforce the hate speech laws against the real rulers of the country, ie., Dirty Desmond, the weirdo Barclay Brothers and Jonathan Harold Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere and his evil sidekick Paul Dacretrash, a campaign's underway to hit 'em where it hurts:

        https://stopfundinghate.org.uk

    2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: profitting from hate?

      Yelling at companies for 'profiting from hate', if that isn't calling the kettle black...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pot calling kettle... You've got to laugh

        So we now have politicians accusing others of "having no shame", engaging in "commercial prostitution" and claiming that "I would be ashamed, absolutely ashamed to earn my money in the way in which you three do."

        What a staggering display of hypocrisy.

        1. naive

          Re: Pot calling kettle... You've got to laugh

          It seems these non-stop attempts by elected politicians to introduce censorship on contents offered through the internet is the new creeping cancer in our "free" and "democratic" countries.

          Maybe the British should start copying something from the Chinese, and introduce the Great British Firewall, all is possible after Brexit, no more nagging from Brussels.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: Pot calling kettle... You've got to laugh

          Yes, what disgusting slimeballs they all are to take a miserable pittance of a salary in order to work 80 hour, six and a half day weeks with the threat of being jettisoned from their job with no transferable skills or alternative employers, purely so that we can have a democracy.

          People hating on MPs enrage me. Such mindless ignorance belongs in the Mail Express Telegraph and rest of the sewer press. Depressing to see it here.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: profitting from hate?

      I feel the Daily Mail content is more and more relevant as I try to escape the Goodthink Avalanche / Potemkin Village of the World of Shiny People (except Emmanuel GoldsteinTrump of course, who is not shiny at all and roundly deserves his 6 hours of daily hate) that is delivered through every media orifice. Like forced cargo cultism into the the progessivist wonderland where we will end up if everyone just believes, stops recalling oldthinker ideas and just does! not! click! on fakenews.

      Also, an MP telling anyone else to be ashamed of how he is making money.

      Orwell must be laughing from the otherside.

    4. Zog_but_not_the_first
      Devil

      Re: profitting from hate?

      How childish of the Mail. And here was I thinking they were "all grown up now".

  2. malle-herbert
    Joke

    Well...

    Google, Twitter and Facebook are data-pimps...

  3. Gordon Pryra

    This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

    Meaningless words by a Government unwilling to take action but wants to be seen as if it is.

    There are already laws in place covering this.

    A very basic example,

    You Tube shows a video of Isis cutting off heads.

    it is illegal to show this in the UK and it is being hosted on You Tubes infrastructure.

    It is ILLEGAL to show this and there are fines and jail terms for those found guilty of these types of crimes already laid out in our laws.

    Rather than politicians doing the yearly "public wrist slap" our police should enforce the laws of the land.

    Private company's should NOT be wasting Politicians time. They are PRIVATE COMPANY'S, the police should be holding these talks in little underground cells with the representatives of Google/Twitter etc under oath.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

      "Private company's should NOT be wasting Politicians time. They are PRIVATE COMPANY'S, the police should be holding these talks in little underground cells with the representatives of Google/Twitter etc under oath."

      So much wrong in one paragraph. "Company's" twice instead of "companies" and yet "Politicians'" doesn't get the apostrophe it should. Most of all, however, police do not question people under oath; they question them under caution. Questioning under oath happens in court.

      1. Dabooka
        Headmaster

        Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

        Good feedback from the Doctor, but they missed the obligatory icon

      2. Gordon Pryra

        Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

        Hmm, having not been questioned by the Police before, I take this as a learning experience.

        Thanks for the tutorial.

        My point still stands, this has nothing to do with Politicians and everything to do with laws that are already in the statute books.

        Feel free to correct my English if you have nothing else to add.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

      "it is being hosted on You Tubes infrastructure."

      But, it wasn't put there by YouTube nor solicited by them. By your standard, should we hold the CEO of Morrisons to task because someone came along and posted an illegal image on one of their in-store noticeboards? Of course not, you'd just be making sure they react correctly and remove it once informed of the illegal content.

      "our police should enforce the laws of the land"

      Yes, and they should be enforcing it against the people breaking the laws, not whichever handy 3rd party's infrastructure they used to do it.

      "the police should be holding these talks in little underground cells with the representatives of Google/Twitter etc under oath."

      While the people who actually committed the crime are free to do the same using someone else's infrastructure. What a brilliantly stupid idea!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

      Which law forbids showing videos of executions? It can't be a data protection issue because the subject's dead, right? :-)

    4. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

      Meaningless words by a Government

      If you don't know the difference between the government and a Select Committee, may I gently suggest you keep your uninformed ramblings to yourself. as you haven't a clue what you're talking about? Thanks.

    5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

      it is illegal to show this in the UK and it is being hosted on You Tubes infrastructure.

      It is ILLEGAL to show this and there are fines and jail terms for those found guilty of these types of crimes already laid out in our laws.

      Yep, because having our best tools for regime change show their characters on-screen is just one of the things that is not done! It beclowns us.

      We also have lots of impressionable youngsters imported for unsound reasons that could actually be open to said rabble-rousing. However, nobody wants to go near this particular political third rail, better solve a completely irrelevant problem, viz. publishing of "hate on the Internet" (I wonder whether hate comes in little packages with nicely colored bands around it, or is more like a newspaper-wrapped fleshy bit?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is a bit like the Crap over Googles Tax

        Thanks AC for one of the best analogies I've seen "Posting an illegal picture on a Morrisons notice board."

        Perfect.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Posting an illegal picture on a Morrisons notice board.

          And how often would we expect Morrisons staff to take a look at the noticeboard, to check whether there's anything that shouldn't be there?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Posting an illegal picture on a Morrisons notice board.

            And what if Morrisons is -paying- the poster of said illegal content while taking a cut?

  4. frank ly

    Proscription

    Here is a quote from Yvette Cooper on this subject, taken from The Independent:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/youtube-google-kkk-video-refuses-to-take-down-antisemitic-david-duke-a7629861.html

    “There aren’t that many proscribed organisations. Don’t you feel any responsibility, as multi-billion pound organisation, to check you are not distributing material from a proscribed organisation?”

    I'm sure we'd (most of us) agree with her on these particular examples. However, what happens when a different government complains about promotional videos from other 'proscribed' (by them) organisations? I'm sure we can all think of possible examples, now and in the potential future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proscription

      >“There aren’t that many proscribed organisations. Don’t you feel any responsibility, as multi-billion pound organisation, to check you are not distributing material from a proscribed organisation?”

      There aren't that many proscribed organisations *in the UK*, but because they are in one country does not mean that they are proscribed in another country. Most people have social media friends from outside their current country, so how do the providers stop people seeing content posted in one country where it is perfectly legal, but not another. And that is without people accessing their profiles while traveling around the world.

      >I'm sure we'd (most of us) agree with her on these particular examples. However, what happens when a different government complains about promotional videos from other 'proscribed' (by them) organisations? I'm sure we can all think of possible examples, now and in the potential future.

      Its only 20 years ago that the USians were publicly collecting donations for the IRA who were bombing the UK. That would presumably have been proscribed in the UK, while legal in the USA.

      1. Esme

        Re: Proscription

        Yeah, but as with many problems, the best solution may have lain in a past that didn't actually happen, because hindsight, whilst not perfect, tends to be better than foresight. Had entities like todays 'social media' platforms been imagined by legislators worldwide before the internet took off in a big way, then perhaps laws could have been created making it illegal to create such an entity. We'd still have the internet now, and online shopping, but a lot of the rest would doubtless be rather different.

        I'm not arguing one way or the other whether that should have happened, incidentally, and I well understand why such pre-emptive laws were not made (hey, I was around pre-internet, and I certainly never imagined the internet of today - so why should I expect legislators to forsee it and pass laws accordingly in the UK, let alone coordinate harmoniously in unison worldwide on the matter?). The problem we actually face is that the cat's out of the bag - we have 'social media' now, so what are we going to do about it? Banning it altogether now would seem to be rather Draconian, even though had laws been passed to prevent its ever appearing I'm unsure whether many would have protested because media (of all types) has drastically changed social mores and norms in the last couple of decades.

        I grew up in a world where personal privacy was expected as a right, and voyeurism was seen as a social sin or a kink at best. Blarting one's private life to the world and poking ones nose into others as a form of entertainment on the scale at which it happens now simply wasnt something imagined, and anyone claiming we'd have a future in which that came to pass would have been derided as a fantasist (and possibly a pervert). Then along comes the internet and mobile phones and suddenly it's seen as the norm to not only throw away your own privacy, but that of others too, be they willing or not - and TV programmes are created with voyeurism at their very core. And I can imagine how people would have laughed back when I first got into computing had anyone said that one day telephone companies would ask you to pay the same kind of money as you pay for a desktop computer for a computer that you can put in your pocket which can also make phone calls but over which you would be allowed very little control at all. What? I bought it, MY computer, I'll do what I like with it, thank you very much! Pull the other one! But then the last two or three decades happened...

        I'm a pragmatist - whilst I happen to think that in a few places society went down the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time as Sir Pterry would have put it, I don't waste my time trying to turn the clock back. But sometimes I can't help but thinking that it's an embuggerance that we can't actually do so - until I think of the many ways in which the bad guys might have made things even worse with such a facility. Hmmmm..

  5. Ben Tasker Silver badge
    Joke

    Anyone else wondering what the business model of a non-commercial prostitute would be?

    1. Gerard Krupa

      "Anyone else wondering what the business model of a non-commercial prostitute would be?"

      Offering consideration and favours (purely coincidentally) to financial donors.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Their mum?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Anyone else wondering what the business model of a non-commercial prostitute would be?"

      Don't know, but they're easy to spot - they have "MP" after their name

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prostitution?

    When someone needs to describe your actions using words that have nothing to do with your actions, you know they're just making it up.

    There may be a case to answer, but not one of sex acts for money.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Prostitution?

      "There may be a case to answer, but not one of sex acts for money."

      Well, They're screwing lots of people for money, so...

      ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prostitution?

        Well, They're screwing lots of people for money, so...

        Social Media firms or MPs?

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Prostitution?

          @Mycho

          Social Media firms or MPs?

          Certainly, our elected and unelected representatives in Westminster have, and looks like continue to do so given half a chance

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Prostitution?

          "Social Media firms or MPs?"

          That's a tough question.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem here is that what defines hate, and how is someone further down the line going to use any policies or laws created to deny something that should be out there (again subjective) attracting the mass cries of censorship (from someone or other).

  8. Bangem

    Alternative headline

    Piss pot tiny island attempts to take worlds 3 richest company to task. zero f*cks given.

    Zuck quoted as saying "This is our business model, if you don;t like it, we can just deny your public access?"

    Barron quoted as saying "remind me of your countries business model again? oh thats right, you go to war to earn a buck, rite?"

  9. ZaphodsTechie

    Urm...

    "400 hours of YouTube going up every day"

    I think he means every minute?

  10. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    Solutions?

    Close Twitter and Facebook

    Force Google to divest YouTube and make search advert free.

    Regulate and forbid most takeovers.

    Perhaps make YouTube subscription based. No adverts on it.

    Adverts make Search and YouTube owners dishonest.

    Facebook type operations, privacy exploiting and funded 100% by adverts are bound to ignore content that generates adverts. So forbid it.

    Regulate any media on Internet to same standard as print and broadcast.

    Yes I know all impossible, but no-one in the West is even trying!

  11. inmypjs Silver badge

    WTF is wrong with hate anyway?

    I fucking hate people who do shitty things. What other emotion am I supposed to feel towards such people?

    Nowadays do any shitty thing you like because no one is allowed to hate you, unless you are a peedyfile of course and increasingly a 'hater'.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: WTF is wrong with hate anyway?

      The bit you're missing is that hating someone or something is very different to encouraging others to do harm to the people or things you hate.

      It's this encouragement to perform acts of violence against others that people want to curtail.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians saying they would feel ashamed to earn money the way Facebook, Google and Twitter do?

    Politicians calling these three prostitutes?

    They sure they're not looking in a mirror?

  13. lukewarmdog

    Personally I think they're taking the wrong people to task entirely.

    If you could get the heads of the advertising channels in one room and say you were going to bankrupt them with new online advertising taxes unless they started vetting where their adverts went then they'd do a cost analysis and become more careful with where their adverts went.

    Don't really think going after the heads of the social media platforms is going to achieve anything at all.

  14. Networking Dude

    Facebook and Google will do whatever it takes to make money and satisfy shareholders

    Just like the Daily Mail, The National Inquirer, et al that peddle trash and call it news.. It puts eyeballs on their ads where they make money.... And Mark Z has never shied away from doing whatever it takes to put his and Facebooks interests above both his partners and clients. Google does the same thing

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook and Google will do whatever it takes to make money and satisfy shareholders

      I don'r recall the government publicly calling for the Sun to change it's behaviour after it printed an entire dossier of lies over Hillsborough, or when the enquiry proved that, the Sun itself turning over it's front page to "It was the Sun wot lied about it".

      If they're going to go for online media companies, don't leave the print media alone to peddle whatever lies they want (straight banana nonsense, etc),

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Facebook and Google will do whatever it takes to make money and satisfy shareholders

        I don'r recall the government publicly calling for...

        This. Isn't. The. Government.

        Can't anyone read? Doesn't anyone know what a Select Committee is?

        Off to shout at some kids on the lawn

        1. nijam

          Re: Facebook and Google will do whatever it takes to make money and satisfy shareholders

          > Doesn't anyone know what a Select Committee is?

          Yes, it's part of the government.

          What do you think it is?

  15. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    spreading hate and lies and .. and...

    Ummm. Wait a sec here.

    Lessee, Iraq buying yellowcake. Lets just start with *THAT* one. The data is only metadata, and is being collected for your protection. Putin caused the Ukraine. Daesh has nothing to do with Bandar (Bush) alSaud or CIA actions in Syria. China is making plastic rice. Love Canal was an accident. The Argentine government was going to invade Chile. Hell I can go back to the 20's if we'd like.

    How about we look at *who* is firing this crap up?

    Yes, there is all sorts of horrid crap on social media, hate, lies, misogyny, racism, anti-vaxx crap, monsanto love stories, bullshit statistics about all sorts of stupidity. I'm sure that people eventually report most of it. At some point the worst of it gets removed.

    However, our GOVERNMENTS should not be pulling media into accusatory public shaming events when they've a concrete, well documented history of lying through smiling teeth about what they are doing, who they are doing it to, and what they're doing it with.

    People should be voting with their (feet, cash, adblockers). That is the *ONLY* mechanism that corporates will *EVER* understand.

    Governments, well it seems that they only ever understand pitchforks and torches.

  16. L05ER

    wrong...

    The CPM for videos is nowhere near $7...

    #FakeNews

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first
      IT Angle

      Re: wrong...

      "The CPM for videos"...

      The old OS has come on a bit. BDOS error on A?

      Sorry...

  17. retired_in_london

    Oh god. You brits are just begging to be Centrally controlled like the Russians and Chinese aren't you?

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      No, the British GOVERNMENT are the stalinist control freaks, not the people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        problem is, its not just the government - its the opposition, too. At lot of this nonsense has been around in various guises for heading towards 17 years now ... and as for Stalinists, hard to look beyond the impressive record of Seamus Milne.

        There as bad as each other - and there's no real sign of a credible alternative - happy to report the Monster Raving Loony Party beat the BNP in Stoke, though :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty sure these people live on the fucking moon, along with people that think warfare can be clean. Also who is it selling guns to despots around the world? Oh the western governments.

    These people should just fuck off. I'm getting bored of it all.

  19. JimC

    But you can bet that

    if there were money to be made by sanitising their content they'd soon find a way, but as there's only money to be lost by doing so they say its impossible.

  20. Gigabob

    Did the MP's forget that "If it Bleeds, it Leads"

    Does that mean they will attack the press as profiting from violence, murder death and despair? Tis in the human nature to take a tool and transform it from an agency of gain to one of abuse.

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