Sadiq Khan: ‘dereliction of duty’ by policy makers for not regulating large tech

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, seen above, is the take of tech companies and governments to task for not doing enough to online platforms safe and inclusive.

(Reuters )

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is set to destroy tech-giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Google for the divide of us, while calling out lawmakers for a “dereliction of duty” not doing enough to regulate the industry and the users protect.

Khan, set to deliver the convergence keynote address on Monday at the massive South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas., will talk about how London is using technology to improve the lives of the citizens and the British metropolis, a “smart city”, according to excerpts released by Fox News.

“There are growing concerns about the way some of the largest companies on the planet affect our lives and the general well-being of our society,” Khan, the first British politician to give SXSW keynote, will say.


The list of tech industry woes — that Khan will call in his speech— is a long one: the negative impact of misinformation before and after the AMERICAN elections; the spreading of hatred and harassment; algorithms that can be abused and push users in the direction of the most radical content; terrorists and extreme right-wing groups, the use of social media to conspire and incite their followers.

Good to meet the new @Airbnb COO Belinda Johnson here at #SXSW. As a global tech success story, Airbnb are an important part of London’s offer to visitors from all over the world. #LondonIsOpen

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 12, 2018

“What we need to see is a stronger duty of care, so that the social media platforms can live up to their promise to places that connect, unify and democratize the sharing of information and the places where everyone feels welcome and appreciated,” Khan, who is London’s first Muslim mayor, will say.

However, the British mayor will also say that if the tech sector can’t clean up its act, need for more regulation is similar to what was done in Germany, where companies were faced with high fines for publishing hate speech.

Although Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies are implementing better enforcement of the suspension hateful accounts and trying to adapt strong control systems to the fight fake news and misinformation, Khan feels it’s not enough.


“With the skills and the resources these companies have at their disposal, I believe that it is possible to go further and faster,” Khan says.

Khan will also mention London’s “online hate crime hub,” apparently the first of its kind in Europe to combat hate speech and the country’s efforts to increase gender equality in the white, male-dominated tech sector.

“Together we must do more to champion high degree of integration within the tech community,” Khan says. “It is not only the right thing to do, the evidence shows that it is good for the company.”

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

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