Hancock on RT fate, social media after Brexit

UK Culture Secretary Matt Hancock told the DCMS Select Committee that the decision over forcing Russia Today (RT) off air will be left to regulator Ofcom.

There to discuss ‘fake news’ Hancock also said Brexit could free up Britain to impose world-leading regulations on technology companies. He argued that when Britain left the EU it would no longer be bound by regulations such as the e-commerce directive, allowing it to write new “forward-looking” legislation for social media platforms.

“Outside the EU, we could attempt, as this country is quite good at in lots of different areas, to write really forward-looking legislation that supports the innovation and the freedom that these social media platforms bring but also ensures they mitigate better against the harms.”

“Currently the e-commerce directive in the European Union says that they are a mere conduit. We are going to leave the EU, so this may be an opportunity to write a set of laws that are absolutely right for the modern times, that allow us get this balance right at the same time. At the moment, without changing the e-commerce directive, you can’t do that.”

Hancock suggested one area in which Britain might lead the way was by establishing a new set of laws placing social media companies halfway between traditional platforms and publishers.

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