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Facebook Put On Notice it Could Face More Regulation in Europe

By Donna Fuscaldo – May 18, 2020 at 4:41PM

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During a debate between Facebook's CEO and EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, Breton warned Facebook has to do more to stop the flow of misinformation.

Facebook (META 5.37%) was put on notice Monday the social media giant could face more regulation in Europe if it doesn't reign its current business practices. 

During a live stream debate between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and European Union industry chief Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner warned that if Facebook doesn't control posts being shared on its platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic regulators will step in. 

Facebook like logo in white against a blue background.


"At the end of the day, if we cannot find a way, we will regulate, of course," Bloomberg quotes Breton as saying. Breton said any increased regulation will be Zuckerberg's doing, warning Zuckerberg that Facebook can't put rivals at a disadvantage using its market power and that the social media giant needs to take more care with regard to disinformation on its platform.

Social media platforms including Facebook and Alphabet's (GOOG 2.70%) (GOOGL 2.62%)  Google have come under intense criticism during the pandemic that misinformation has been free-flowing, putting people at risk. The tech stocks have taken steps to curb that, but misinformation is still showing up on the platforms. The European Commission is currently in the process of writing legislation that would put more responsibility on the U.S. tech companies to clean up the platforms and control the information shared. 

While Zuckerberg said he expects regulation, he expressed concern about the type of regulation the world will exact on the social media giant and others. He pointed to China as a framework he is worried regulators may embrace. Zuckerberg argued that any regulation should be modeled on standards that come out of Western democracies.  

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (C shares) and Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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