Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee member Nigel Huddleston MP joined the Committee’s Chair – Damian Collins – in calling for urgent answers about Facebook’s content moderation policy, following an investigation by the BBC. Mr Huddleston believes that Facebook have sufficient questions to answer for an urgent hearing in front of the Committee to be necessary.
The BBC reported 100 indecent images of children to Facebook’s moderators, but only 18 were taken down. When the BBC’s reporter made Facebook aware of these shortcomings, he was asked to send the website examples of content that had not been removed. Upon him doing so, Facebook made what Mr Huddleston described as a “bizarre” decision to report the BBC to the police for spreading illegal images. Facebook has since responded saying this is normal policy in line with their own industry standards.
Reacting to these events, Nigel Huddleston said: “Facebook has a lot of questions to answer and I think a session in front of our Committee would offer them the most appropriate forum through which to do so. The main issue here is undoubtedly Facebook’s moderation policy and its ability to protect its online community of several billion people from indecent, harmful and illegal images. I think we must also address Facebook’s bizarre decision to report the BBC to the police after they fulfilled Facebook’s own request to supply them with examples of images that their moderators had failed to take down. Facebook is a hugely important corporate entity in the modern digital world and we must ensure that it is following proper practices and protecting its users – as well as those unable to protect themselves.”