Last call

The Financial Times reports this morning (Monday 12 Feb 2018) that Unilever, the world’s second-largest advertiser has warned social media giants Google and Facebook that it will pull its advertising from their platforms if they continue to ‘’foster hate’’ or fail to act responsibly in the wake of the exponential increase in offensive and unlawful content that is posted on its platforms and represents a direct assault on the rights, freedoms and interests of millions of data subjects, including children.

The climate has turned and social media giants now find themselves in a media storm where sitting back and doing nothing is no longer an option. The day of reckoning is fast approaching and Governments around the world as well as big business has lost its patience when terrorists, sexual predators and racists appear to be able to act with impunity in spreading their evil around the world, supported by commercial advertising.

Where is the evidence of moral and ethical leadership required from the social media giants – now in the top tier of the world’s most powerful and commercially successful companies? How do they proactively prevent harm and damage and what level of responsibility have they taken in stopping such content from flowing down their pipes?

Legislation is on the cards in different Member States ahead of the full enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation from 25 May 2018 that sets the global standard for data protection, privacy and security.

And not before time.

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