Facebook, Google may face new taxes in great Britain for the failure to tackle extremism



Facebook admits to major flaws

Ex-executive says that it is bad for the society.

Tech giants such as Google and Facebook, already under fire for not doing enough to combat extremism and the fake news, can be faced with new taxes in the United Kingdom as a civil servant has his way.

Britain may impose new taxes on tech companies, unless they do more to fight online extremism by the removal of material that radicalizes people, or helps them to prepare attacks, Conservative y, security minister Ben Wallace said.

Wallace claimed the tech companies were happy to sell to people of the data, but not to give it to the government, that large sums of money on de-radicalisation programmes, surveillance and other counter-terrorism measures.

“If they continue to be less than cooperative, we need to look at things like tax as a way to encourage them or to compensate for their inaction,” Wallace told the Sunday Times newspaper in an interview.


A man waiting for an elevator in the front of a logo at the Facebook headquarters in London, Dec. 4, 2017.


The newspaper reported that the demand would take place in the form of a windfall tax similar to one imposed on privatised utilities in 1997.

Wallace accused the tech giants of putting private profit before public safety.

“We have to stop pretending, because they are sitting on beanbags in T-shirts that they are not unscrupulous profiteers,” he said. “They will mercilessly sell our data to loans and soft-porn companies, but not give it to our democratically elected government.”

Facebook’s policy director, Simon Milner rejected the criticism in a statement to Reuters.

“Mr. Wallace is wrong to say that we have the profit for the safety, especially in the fight against terrorism,” he said in a statement via e-mail. “We have invested millions of pounds in people and technology to identify and remove terrorist content.”

YouTube, owned by Google, said it does more every day to tackle violent extremism.

“In the course of 2017, we have made significant progress by investing in machine learning technology, recruiting more reviewers, building partnerships with experts and the cooperation with other companies,” a YouTube spokeswoman said.

Flowers seen in Manchester after a bombing at a Ariana Grande concert took the lives of the 22 people injured and 119 others.



Great britain hit by a series of attacks by Islamic extremists this year killed a total of 36 people, not including the attackers. Two vehicles involved ramming people on bridges in London, followed by attackers stabbing people. The deadliest, a bomb attack during a concert in Manchester, with 22 people killed and injured 119 others.

“We are more vulnerable than at any time in the last 100 years,” says Wallace, citing extremist material on social media and encrypted messaging services.

“Because the content was not achieved, as fast as they could do, we have the radicalize people who are radicalized. That costs millions,” Wallace said. “They may not go away and we need to look at all options, including vat.”

However, Facebook said it removed 83 percent of the uploaded copies of terrorist content within an hour of her found.

Facebook, which is examined by the regulatory authorities in Germany and France for how it handles privacy and monetizes data of users, has said that it would be a doubling of the number of people working in the safety and security teams to 20,000 by the end of 2018.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular