The recent Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) report is a damning indictment of the way that social media companies, in particular, Google, You Tube and Twitter, have in some circumstances, wilfully disregarded racist, extremist and hateful material that was being circulated through these platforms. Public relations bosses for these profit making companies were publicly humiliated for their inaction and with Members of Parliament on the HASC, highlighting key weaknesses and inaction by the social media bodies.
It is clear that social media PR bosses completely misjudged the mood of Parliamentarians which had changed over the last year. For over a year, it became clear to us that Parliamentarians were receiving more and more complaints from their electorate about issues with social media. Any public relations professional would have picked up the changing mood in Parliament and particularly on the Home Affairs Select Committee. There was therefore a fundamental failure by these PR bosses of social media companies to assess what was coming their way.
Tell MAMA supports the detailed and pro-active report produced by the HASC committee. The committee has stood up for the rights of individuals and victims and the points made in the report are a serious wake up call for these social media companies which make enormous profits. Furthermore, the HASC committee also took on board our suggestions around financial penalties for social media companies, if there are policing costs because of their inability to act on criminal material. We have always stated that there is a huge financial and social cost because of these platforms and Google, You Tube, Twitter and Facebook have provided no actual funding for policing and civil society costs for their work recording and countering issues such as LGBT hate, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred. Whilst making huge profits, they have systematically neglected the unnecessary costs to the public purse that their platforms have racked up in the UK. That could not carry on and Tell MAMA has systematically made this case for over 2 years. This point has now been accepted and promoted by the Home Affairs Select Committee.
We thank the members of the HASC for their excellent work and we will continue to stand up for the rights of victims of hate crimes.