Nine questions about your future, if you’re brave enough to answer them

The Communications Committee of the House of Lords is currently consulting on the future of internet regulation in the UK in the light of Brexit, the Facebook revelations, fake news, and hate speech.

The nine questions the Committee is asking read like a very good university final exam, or for that matter a very lively pub chat. These are questions that every digital business and agency working in the UK should be thinking about and responding to, consultation or not. I’ve included them below.

Those questions are not exciting, and they’re not sexy, and they don’t even fit in a content block. But the answers the Committee receives will help to shape what you can and cannot do on the web. If, as I’ve said so many times over the years, you aren’t going to show up and have your say, you lose any right you might have had to complain about the result.

So if your digital business wants to submit a response, I am here to help you do that.

The consultation closes on 11 May.

Questions:

  1. Is there a need to introduce specific regulation for the internet? Is it desirable or possible?
  2. What should the legal liability of online platforms be for the content that they host?
  3. How effective, fair and transparent are online platforms in moderating content that they host? What processes should be implemented for individuals who wish to reverse decisions to moderate content? Who should be responsible for overseeing this?
  4. What role should users play in establishing and maintaining online community standards for content and behaviour?
  5. What measures should online platforms adopt to ensure online safety and protect the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information?
  6. What information should online platforms provide to users about the use of their personal data?
  7. In what ways should online platforms be more transparent about their business practices—for example in their use of algorithms?
  8. What is the impact of the dominance of a small number of online platforms in certain online markets?
  9. What effect will the United Kingdom leaving the European Union have on the regulation of the internet?