Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned major technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more on the issue of “hate speech,” or face fines and greater regulation.
Talking to the BBC ahead of the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology festival in Austin, Texas, Khan said that companies must be “chivvied and cajoled to take action.”
“We have evolving economies, which means we should have evolving regulations,” he said. “For too long politicians and policymakers have allowed this revolution to take place around us and we’ve had our heads in the sand.”
He went on to reference German hate speech laws, put in place by Angela Merkel in response to growing resentment at her open-door migration policy, with companies now facing fines up to 50 million euros.
“Germany is an example of where the German government said ‘Enough,” he continued. “Unless you take down hate messages, unless you take down fake news, we will fine you’.
“I want to work with the tech companies, but you have to be responsible,” he added.
Khan also reiterated his opposition to President Donald Trump, claiming that Trump’s decision to retweet a member far-right activist group Britain First had led to increased levels of abuse directed at him.
“If you are the most powerful man in the western world, and you are amplifying messages from far-right groups, Britain First, that has an impact on many people. That group incites hatred.
“President Trump has lots of followers…