Read this: How to combat fake news?
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.bbc.co.ukHow to combat fake news?…
BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 it's another big week in media news last week.
We had the 10th cross report into the future of journalism this week.
We've got the culture select committees final report into fake news and disinformation accept really it's about something much much bigger the social and economic contract between a few very big and mostly American technology firms and British citizens.
We're going to put that report in the Dock today with a member of the committee a former speechwriter to Mark Zuckerberg and the editor of The Drum the marketing and technology website all live with me in the studio, but first let's turn to France where a remarkable scandal is brewing last week the French newspaper liver accion discovered a private Facebook group calling itself the league do lol lol being an acronym for laugh out loud navigate was formed in 2009 its members some of whom are a month.
What is best known male journalist and accused of mocking their female colleagues with rape jokes and Photoshopped pornographic images liberazione high-minded and left-leaning daily has suspended to return genus associate with the group and a number of others have been suspended across more other and try to say other publications also in France la ilusion a journey from a different publication was targeted by the Ligue du.
Lol she told the BBC about her experience to say I'm not good enough to be a journalist it lasted for 2 years and it works really hard, but the hardest word erase all their followers came on my Twitter account and they told me I'm her I'm a slat and stuff like that and that I slept with my boss to get a job.
They created a page with my name and on this page.
They build a lot of data.
That's my favourite cat parents and my ass as you're taking your blessing you don't know what to do and what to say after that you're not able to focus anymore on your work.
So yeah, it was hard that was a generous layer Lucian and well Lawrence your friend is the editor-in-chief of Liberace on an under like to join us on the line from Paris thanks for your time.
I never asked you on a suspended two journalists and Natalie Jesus with we don't to go to names in a bit just to be honest and what's the process is underway now.
There is an internal investigation voluntary social legislation and then we we we we are at the end of this investigation make a decision about Saxon ok the Ligue du lol Facebook group has been around for 10 years.
Why won't you aware of it earlier?
Everytime you tonight that I couldn't I couldn't know because it is his activities to place out of the paper and when is when was not on Twitter anything afterwards.
I couldn't imagine to get stronger, so I didn't no idea I discovered it when we should not last weekend and was able to experience because of their testimonies are very very deed of liberation and then we have embarrassing is it for a publication? That's meant to stand for progressive values including a quality that I should be employed people like this.
What what what was happening was absolutely opposite to what we are staying for since the Foundation of the fact that this was going on somebody new lyrics to offer people and it's very special.
Is it a special great Birmingham bigger problem is sexism and harassment in French journalism companies including the media center for progressive Media stay with us.
Cos I want bringing sexy time stay with us to bring it and yes, he's a journalist.
Working both France and UK tiniest good afternoon.
I know you're allowed Paris Bureau thanks so much for your time to does this behaviour By Mail journalist sound familiar to Wells I actually agree with the loss of her that it's not something that is only happening in journalism in France it's the pervading Sexist culture if you'd like even though it's so much better today than it used to be having a is a culture of Seduction in France and it has proved and it has a terrible comes that is to say at seduction vouchers on abuse and what's happening and what's has happened actually since the Harvey Weinstein if it is that now a lot of women speak out and not only do they dare to speak out but they also heard which is a good thing let us also remember that 10 years ago when that's Prive
Facebook group started targeting their female colleagues and there was no law to punish those actions and now actually since August 2018 sweet honey.
I've been a few months.
It's it's an offence punishable by law.
So you know there's a shift about a tutor and there's an Evolution of mentalities and I misunderstood you there.
Did you say that there are pros and cons? What are the pros that I was talking about a culture of Seduction that was one of the protoculture of Seduction and therefore not abuse but sitters seduction I can breed abuse and yet, so there's there's no there's a clear distinction then.
There's a clear frontier between seduction and abuse and you shouldn't Trust assets, but the lord of men and
Interested and have you ever experience this within a cell phone use any woman but not on him that isn't me in the Streets of Paris any French woman in the Streets of France I will have the I think I learnt a lot by just walking the street and what would you say to Laura to a friend? Who's a hearing this non the line with you know about how damaging this is for liver restaurants damaging for a lot of the newspapers because Levi's show is not the only one and I must say the irony is not lost on the fact that they are all left leaning newspapers that are a very often preaching telling us how to behave better and it's really a shame that did the it happens to them Laura's your front.
What do you think I mean your visit problem? Are you talked about a process? Which is to weed out culprits in a particular group but what about the broader cultural point Regenerist Priory.
Makes what are you doing to address the culture with?
He says he's in debit in France of Seduction and abuse of power bi men in the paper is a very senior figure you want to do about it.
It's another thing to be doing cyber hello.
What are you sexy with precision and abuses and and we will make a plan to to have procedures.
There is any basis for sale and then to look very closely to the relations between men and women and equality in salary.
We want to reach the parity bits about inequality in the distribution of management positions at the moment.
So you call reputation really appreciate your time and your dad, is it sexism in France which you describe is endemic in is a huge cultural problem.
How does it compare with UK journals and where you also have extensive experience? I'm in bed.
You know Britain doesn't have that culture of Seduction France has and therefore is a more you know civilized plays for woman.
I would say you're not have been in there.
I've decided to now.
I've lived actually have my life in in the UK and in France but it doesn't mean that there's no sexism mean in Britain it is a
Dress differently and I think it's some yellow it's a better place for me meaning for women in general and Fleet Street as we still cold.
It's only for the bullies from my experience of its different to different things they can be of course they can go together and then it's a deadly combination, but you're right actually have experienced Farm opening in the UK now in France you know if you stay with us because I move on to the big story of the week and I hope over 100 pages are nearly two years in the making the culture select committee report on fake news and disinformation is a very substantial piece of work.
I've read the report so you don't have to that we're going to break down into three broad areas for you and one is legal issues white electoral law needs updating and what a new system of regulation will look like another is the whole issue of dark money.
That is the role of firms that Cambridge analytica and countries like Russia in trying to influence or even subvert British democracy.
The first let's look at Facebook which get to the National pasting from the select committee at will get in to wire in a moment and yes is still very much out on the line and we have three very well informed guess in the studio labour MP Ian Lucas is part of the select committee text Eric breker dododex torricke-barton.
Forgive me has work for Google and Facebook and is a former speechwriter for the bosses of both companies and Stephen lepitak is we got some interesting names of the students Lucas is possibly boring compared to check curry probably Vent-Axia time three broad areas Facebook the law and dark money and Ian Lucas MP what do you honestly committee accuse Facebook of being honest with the committee not being available to account for that their behaviour and to try and shift responsibility for their own actions so as we as we put to one of the
Present she came to us we wanted the person within the box stopped to come too serious and account for the company and Mark Zuckerberg's refused your nose if I didn't, it's worth saying that you're there is a specific allegation which I thought was remarkably strong language that the committee makes that Facebook knowingly and intentionally violated laws around both data privacy and competition dex torricke-barton.
You spent years working in Silicon Valley in senior roles for both Facebook and Google are these criticisms of Facebook fair, I can't comment on how they interfaced with this survey report on and the work that you was doing but I like I've spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley I think the valley often unfairly gets caricatured by folks from the outside as as a place where people are play Fast and loose with ethical and legal frameworks and standards are sometimes part of it is fairly deserved because I think are Silicon Valley has tremendous challenges in being.
Inspiring and communicating with the rest of the world and making people understand that these are extraordinarily complex issues, which are everybody across the industry struggling to deal with I want to talk about it.
So fat is it is the criticism of Facebook do they violated data privacy laws and the criticism that it's two equally powerful than it is in effect as a monopoly.
Do you think those criticisms? I think it's unfair because we live in an age of Extraordinary digital competition.
There's a access to all sorts of services online free actually one of the things.
I think if you look at the report which I think is is slightly unfair about the report is this a very myopic Focus Radeon I just want element of the social networking ecosystem.
There's all sorts of other services which have hundreds of millions of users we talking about read it would all about Snapchat these are things that really deserve to be part of the conversation as well and let me to solve the digital information ecosystem protective.
We need to talk about those two letters come back.in the second first was Stephen lepitak the Drum let me ask you the same question are these criticisms of Facebook fair on data privacy a Monte Carlo
I mean, it's big enough and bold enough to to argue for yourself, but I would say and tackle Dixie playing is why is it just Facebook that's been targeted heroin other I'm in the social media landscape is vast Facebook is not alone in these challenges, so whether it is or not.
You'll have to figure that out snot for me to the side, but there are other companies that need to step up and also went to the stump a conversation the Lucas is a couple of argued that what is it you focus too much on Facebook and the other well, you just heard it.
Would you think we focus on Facebook because that's what the evidence letters and all of the statements that are in the report are evidence-based and to my knowledge.
Stood up in the face of very close analysis Ride Across the world for this report with a huge amount of Supporting documentary evidence some of which Facebook did not want disclosed and wish it was disclosed to us by people who wanted to help her.
To hold Facebook to account.
Why do you say companies like them are behaving like digital gangsters because they are in a Monopoly position.
They are dominant they making decisions which kill off other innovative businesses and again.
We saw documentary evidence of that Mark Zuckerberg himself that he single word deciding to you.
Not a whitelist certain companies blacklist other companies operating in a monopolistic way to interfere with market in a dishonest way and and that's why we took such a strong line dex torricke-barton.
I think you have to draw a distinction between being incredibly successful and being monopolistic Henry Ford put the horse and buggy business out of business, but I didn't make in monopolistic.
Let me have an entrepreneur provided by WhatsApp and Instagram because they didn't want them to get too big and they do they have enormously enhance their own Power by being able to buy a rivals have any anti-competitive legislation stronger.
Do you think that would be?
But I don't think yeah, you can necessarily say they've been bought those services because that you wanted to get to Big I think you could say because Facebook's mission is to connect the entire world, They don't speak to about it all the time and it services out there were extraordinary quickly as well.
There's any tidy consist of hundreds of millions of people in many other apps as well as I just small parts of the overall digital eco Steven Levitt it was really interesting to watch how they reacted are prepared for the support and what's going on in other countries did actually don't seem to be hugely reactive at although the the senior leadership position what it was a source of statements that it that was a quote.
I think they welcome the reporting had a Focus that they can respond in the way that they want to and they do they have very expensive full of politicians wearing on their behalf.
Make the case on their behalf but they weren't prepared to engage with us astray questions from me and my colleagues.
He connects with a spanner see the light from the drums so Nick Clegg presumably to prepare for lasagne.
It's been almost anonymous.
Did you speak to my told you hear from you didn't speak to him.
We accept the witness for the committee because we want to get the people who made the decisions the ones who made the decision to close down particular company's to whitelist companies to blacklist companies to if you want investigate the transfer of data that we think was happening all of these detail questions when this has been education for me.
I spent two years working on this.
I am not an expert like the two guys you're sitting the Studio with me but I have become much more knowledgeable and I followed the evidence on this.
I was completely agnostic about Facebook before I write this I now think that their behavior.
Disgrace with we said that they help Parliament in contempt and the person is made all of the money the billions of pounds wasn't prepared to take responsibility and defenders action dex torricke-barton used to write speeches for I did what you said, you're not an expert and we will chat a little bit before the show about how it's just over the last couple of years eve really engage with these topics in a question for you.
Do you not think it might be better served if more politicians really were experts who are driving these kinds of effort because honestly you know what the entire future of our Society depends on having deep expertise on solving these issues and practices in completely behind the times and engaging with tech companies.
I want to bring back in before you move on to the question of the law admission this work in the UK as a freelancer, where do you stand on the question of whether on Facebook is too powerful women at their worthy of that phrase digital gangsters.
Facebook and other social media companies and taking both companies said I will only platforms we can't win not responsible for the content for instance where they are responsible and they I'm only a few days ago the French Prime Minister because as you know we've had a series of the very vicious anti-semitic attacks and a tens of thousands of people they menstruating in the Streets of France yesterday against them and we have the gilet jaune protest which is turning very ugly and we know it's been fed by platforms like Facebook and so the French Prime Minister says he wants a law passed by before the summer to Chester mech tech companies be held to account and to be able to take down harmful content hatred's content and to be responsible for the content as you said forgive me for interrupting eggs, because I do you do take it on marvelously to the issue of the law.
Ian the committee says that electoral does not fit for purpose.
It's stuck in the age of the billboard someone and you make a point about regulation which is now familiar this idea this year code of ethics Frances cairncross was sat in that very sick last week.
She also said this year co-develop backed up by an independent regulator easy to say what exactly do you mean in principle? How did it work in practice? I think that we have a number of existing regulators who who could have powers in this area of the information commissioner with with the electoral commissioner, but it's absolutely clear that the laws that in place at the present time or something not not in in step with the with the modern world and with modern camper.
Give me that forgiving.
That's one issue.
Which is weather not the laws that amount of work.
What would a newspaper and internet as we keep hearing is going to come out but no one can quite say exactly what the new regulator with being think I'm 9:33 report this talk about our UK council for internet safety over just part of the tcms.
Let's talk about with the Ofcom with the advertising Standards Agency will take on a ferry to take on something stuck.
What do you see as a system of regulation that impact?
If you'd like what I would like to see I used to be the automotive minister.
We have an automotive Council involving individuals from the automotive sector who came together with people who who were in governments and other experts and I take Texas point to formulate a system of regulation that all the comfortable with in so we need not as politicians involved in this process, but the players to spend a lot of money.
Why can't politicians that you just decide I think we need to be informed and what I find most distressing about this whole process with particular Facebook with white icing have no trust in the company the needs to be a relationship of trust build-up.
He's a very serious issues.
We've had massively important elections in both sides of the Atlantic with one right at the heart of the democracy.
We just heard from France of the serious situation in that we've got to get on top of his mother mothers and people who make billions of dollars and pounds from this have a responsibility.
Part of the solution in there in there her statement favourite said they were engaged to the committee at great length because they've sent lots of delegates in a given you hundreds of thousands about Stephen lepitak from the Drum I just wonder how fast you guys can move kids and uncertain political times we could have a general election at some points in what I got that stops what happened before happening again this year, but I do what I want.
So forgive me.
I want to get on his granule appointment regulation because it that's how we can try and move the conversation on form when we've had lots of times on this show will be with lots of people say we what regulation Stephen in your understanding of the sector you do a lot of work on new tech sector is a form of herself with at the age of self-regulation over and what would a new system of regulation actually look like let's get into detail.
I mean this one to highlight is what happens in Germany that they hit the take companies in the pocket and that is probably what will work so in Germany they have 24 hours if full of hate speech is Ricky
Dazed and highlighted the 24-hour to remove all the face of 20 million euro fine.
That is how heavy handed Apollo need to be texted her but the important part of any potential solution to solving these issues, but look at this information and all the problems are created in art information ecosystem.
Did not start with te te did not start this fire are there is a reason that there are so many people in my tax credits and yes, that is an important part of it, but before that we have a reason why there are hundreds of millions of people in the world.
You are angry about their lives today who are willing and hungry to look for simple solutions to the problems of today and willing to listen to fake news and we have an undeclared war with Russia and bad actors who are seeking to weaponize information feel sicknesses about those information platforms which are part of our everyday lives and there is no regulatory solution to stop in a war with Russia when guests effortlessly do the segway for me and makes them so much more easy.
Have you talked about Russia and I want to make sure that we do talk about the troxy sacked surrounding a large Russian interference or to the company Cambridge analytica that were saying on the specific allegations around Arron banks.
Would you talk about the report for UKIP donor of course? I gave money to leave.eu the brexit campaign.
There's a live investigation by the National Crime Agency and I don't want to get into that because it's in his life, but in Lucas you looked at whether political campaigns have been unduly influenced by fake news and disinformation.
What did you find connections between countries involving Russia's we've already mentioned the connections through the United States through Europe interference with with government's trades in passports across the Caribbean all sort of Incredible connections transfers of data.
It appeared to us between different businesses who were making huge sums of money and who paid played central roles in the election.
The switch have had such a sea snake effect on the politics.
They were experiencing an at the moment in the period since 2014 in Scotland with the referendum through 2015 General Election 2016 presidential election referendum.
That's route of the 2017 General Election ok Stephen lepitak the Drum what should happen now to make Britain less vulnerable to the abuse of these platforms by bad actors around the world companies that came Jones get your head quickly, can we move forward but these companies are trying to do things internal as well, they have now they are bringing people in it's just not enough and probably we need to knit All In This Together and they don't need to touch the work with you guys a lot better, but what can we actually do to make the Weller British opinion less susceptible to find poison.
That's what we talked about it.
We took that attempts by foreign actors influence British elections and referendums, what can we actually?
What can companies do what can regulators to transparency? Where is the funding come from for any sort of political adverts? How do we highlight when an advert runs where where the fun is come from and just been out there telling people texted her but I mean I think I made you a little surprised incredibly important role here that we have to equip people to be critical consumers of information information need we need a massive strengthen the Investment those kinds of skills in schools.
This is a process that has to start now.
It is well overdue.
I think everyone acknowledges that we do not teach those kinds of digital skills enough in schools and really that's that's going back to the question around is there a regulatory solution to be saying it's really going to be insufficient.
I was going on digital literacy in the report him.
I agree totally with Texas just say I was going to give us a sense from the inside of a how seriously will the actually take a report of this no offence.
But how seriously what will they be sitting California menlo Park Silicon Valley where you spend a lot of time will it take right see you know David
Disney Lucas is 107 pages you read what's on page 97.
What's the what's the mood actually going to be honest? I think I you know the statement.
You've heard it is not that you know simply in O2 as a matter of politeness.
This is an important.
Step forward not just for the UK but for regulators everywhere.
It's going to influence regulatory conversations across the Europe around the world and absolutely I think this is going to be something that will approach a lot of intense discussion and debate in the coming months helix Trowbridge you've lost way to you.
I think this is a worldwide problem.
We've been waiting with parliamentarians run across the globe who are facing exactly the same issues.
I hope that our report brings us together to try and address.
What is a massively important area or it's only going to keep going out it on the media show guys.
Thank you very much.
Would you expect her it Barton I got your name in the other night just about sorry for you Stephan.
Liberace on thank you very much indeed for your time and thank you for listening.
We are back at the same time next week Wednesday at 4:30 for now.
Thanks for listening and goodbye.
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