back to article UK MPs' disinformation sub-committee is sure to bring Facebook chief to heel (in Opposites Land)

UK Parliament's digital committee, keen to ride its post-Facebook probe publicity wave, has launched a sub-committee on disinformation to dig into the issues raised during its high-profile report. zuckerberg Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you READ MORE The House of …

  1. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    No ElReg comment about FB deleting "by mistake" a "couple of years" of Zuck's posts?

    Hints that the outage was related to some deep deleting of incriminating posts may not have been exaggerated?

    Anyway now we know that when needed, FB can actually delete posts for ever....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: No ElReg comment about FB deleting "by mistake" a "couple of years" of Zuck's posts?

      > Anyway now we know that when needed, FB can actually delete posts for ever....

      Only if you name is Mark Zuckerberg:

      Businessinsider: ‘Some old Facebook posts by CEO Mark Zuckerberg have vanished, and the company says it "mistakenly deleted" them.

      The disappearances include posts about key moments in the company's history, like the acquisition of Instagram in 2012.

      "A few years ago some of Mark's posts were mistakenly deleted due to technical errors," a spokesperson said in a statement.

      Facebook won't restore the posts, saying the work to do so would be "extensive" and not guaranteed to work.

      Facebook has also made changes to the way it saves its archives of previous corporate announcements and blog posts that make it that much harder to parse the company's historical records.’

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong Channels

    In the UK?

    Don't they have bigger issues at the moment?

    The News doesn't inform, it distract you from what's going on.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Wrong Channels

      Well come on then AC, why don't you tell us what's really going on eh?

      We could all do with a laugh.

  3. Chris G

    "threats to democracy".

    When the committee finds some (democracy) I hope they publish it's whereabouts, I'd like to go and have a look to see what all the fuss is about.

    Regarding the Silly Zucker's requests for regulation and dumping the ball back in the laps of governments, he should be careful about what he wishes for. Faecebook could be regulated back into pre-social times.

    PR exercises often backfire.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: "threats to democracy".

      The man doesn't seem particularly intelligent at the best of times but calling for governments to regulate his business seems like an own goal with a left foot he just shot himself in.

      1. DCFusor

        Re: "threats to democracy".

        He's suggesting regulation as an alternative to being broken up....

        1. Chris G

          Re: "threats to democracy".

          "He's suggesting regulation as an alternative to being broken up...."

          In the hopes that TPTB will ask him for advice on the regulation in a similar way that they let Boeing self regulate their aircraft modifications and upgrades.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: "threats to democracy".

          He's suggesting regulation as an alternative to being broken up.

          And, reading between the lines, seems to want deep integration into the committee producing the rules. So, in effect, FB gets to make the regulation as toothless as possible.

      2. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "threats to democracy".

        It's the old "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" - he knows regulation will come, and thereby he has to attempt to steer them in a direction which is still advantageous to his business.

        But really, it's like involving old Enron/Lehman executives in writing rules for the financial market, or involving mafia into writing laws to fight organized crime.... oh wait - there's a possibility it's happening....

    2. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: "threats to democracy".

      regulation means it's harder for a new service to come along and take over their market because it raises the cost of starting up.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "threats to democracy" include regulation practices

      "Faecebook could be regulated back into pre-social times."

      No they couldn't, that isn't how our political systems work today.

      Buying of the political process is not a PR exercise. It is part of a well established political and business model that has been one of the most powerful drivers of government and their decisions since at least the 1980's.

      A closer look at regulations, like environmental regulations, will show that regs are not about protecting citizens (or the environment) as they may have once been.

      Of course every large business would prefer no regulation or enforcement but eventually they will be called to task or made responsible with a PR disaster or in the case of the environment made to pay for environmental damages.

      When that happens the industry or business itself calls for regulation.

      Regulation limits responsibility and liability and passes at least some of that, often all of that, onto government and the regulatory agencies.

      Take a look at todays regulatory agencies and the people paid by them. You will find few regular John and (insert gender pronoun of your choice here) Q Public representing the wishes of average citizens.

      Regulatory industries have a disproportionate number of people with close ties to the industry being regulated. They claim you need to be from the industry being enforced to understand regulations.

      That is an easy to counter claim that our media almost never makes. We do not need criminals to be the police doing the enforcing or rule making.

      A look at the flow of people to and from positions of influence in making and enforcing regulations will show why so many industries are so keen on regulation.

      Regulation limits their liability and helps ensure lack of competition and profits, even for industries that wouldn't exist at all if citizens had a controlling say in government.

  4. }{amis}{
    Holmes

    call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

    I wonder why they are fighting it anyway there will be no PR win even if they succeed at appeal and £500K doesn't even count as a flea bite to a company that size.

    The only 2 reasons I can think of for it are:

    A: Some legal company is just cashing in on a rich dumb client for as much as possible.

    B: They feel it sets some kind of precedent that they don't want on the books for when their inevitable next disaster happens.

    Does anyone have any better ideas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

      Precedent.

      Until Brexit a lot of other countries took what the UK does seriously. Occasionally, they still do. If we fine Zuckerbook, they might well decide to do so too.

      1. Chris G

        Re: call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

        If John Bolton is anything to go by, even the US still takes the UK seriously.

        “President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain. It’s what the people voted for in 2016, and when they get out, whether it’s now, April 12 or later, we’ll be standing right there waiting for them,"

        So there's a cuddly deal waiting for the UK's agriculture to be dominated by Monsanto et al and the Pound to be merged with the dollar to take advantage of all the juicy financial services that pass through London on the way to Panama.

        1. DCFusor

          Re: call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

          A: Bolton is to say the least, low credibility.

          b: Monsanto is now owned by Bayer in Germany.

        2. Teiwaz

          Re: call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

          President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain.

          Well of course he is, they're probably sure he can get another 'Manhattan island' bargain.

      2. Pseu Donyme

        Re: call on Facebook to ditch its appeal

        >Precedent.

        Also a longer rap sheet, which means bigger GDPR fines, and, in general, the regulators and courts having a dimmer view of them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sub-committee on disinformation

    isn't that what they all do anyway?

  6. codejunky Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    This seems a day late

    Parliament's "institutional home" for data privacy, disinformation and scrutiny of "threats to democracy".

    Unless they mean to implement a lack of data privacy, push disinformation and scrutinise anything threatening their 'threat to democracy'

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK MPs' disinformation sub-committee

    Is that part of the Ministry of Truth ?

    Perhaps it's all part of the Integrity Initiative ?

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Cowboy Zuck

    Sees dust on the horizon, he's circling the wagons. Hoping to create his own smoke screen.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    If it is on someone elses server, then it isn't your data and you have no control over it.

    The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives. It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”

    Wha' ?

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: If it is on someone elses server, then it isn't your data and you have no control over it.

      “The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives. It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”

      It was mostly because there were no 'rules governing the internet' that failed to disallow a load of some good some bad ideas.

      'Updating' and defining clear rules will ensure much fewer new disruptive ideas fruiting.

      The Internet has had it's wild west days, but now, barring some new tech to change the ground, the territory has mostly been decided and the sheriffs are on patrol and cavalry is out shooting natives.

    2. Alterhase

      Re: If it is on someone elses server, then it isn't your data and you have no control over it.

      “The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives. It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”

      Let's be honest and change this to read "created a lot of corporate value from people’s lives"

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like