Executives from the world’s leading digital platforms must attend an international conference on disinformation and fake news in Canada, Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, has warned.
The second meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News will take place in Ottawa on May 28 next.
Asked to attend the international event are Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and former Executive Chair Eric Schmidt, Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and CEO of AWS Andrew Jassy, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, and Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel.
Deputy Naughton has been asked to take part in the session as she is Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee.
“The ‘International Grand Committee’ represents 170 million users in the countries these parliamentary committees represent. The goal of our parliamentary committees is to scrutinise digital policy, including disinformation and the governance of the internet,” Deputy Naughton said.
The Galway TD is a firm believer that social media platforms are regulated as all attempts to self-govern have to date failed.
“It is absolutely vital that social media is regulated. We cannot wait any longer to allow these powerful companies account for themselves. This committee is part of a global effort working for the same goal and answers are required from top executives and decision makers in social media platforms and not their designated regional agents,” Deputy Naughton said.
The inaugural committee hearing in London last November resulted in the non-appearance of some top executives of social media firms including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
“The answers we have received to date have been inadequate and unsatisfactory. These executives want all of the power and profit that goes with social media but none of the responsibility. That has to change and those invited to attend in Ottawa should do so,” Deputy Naughton said.