Big internet companies like Google and Facebook are getting away with breaches of standards old-fashioned newspapers would never be allowed to.
Why are the voices demanding ever tougher legislation against the British press so muted over calling for tougher regulation on big internet companies who seriously breach content standards?
Barring the odd Daily Express immigration splash and an occasional Daily Mail detour into sexism, the newspapers rarely misbehave themselves these days.
It is on Google, Facebook, WhatsApp et al that the serious abuse continues to occur – and yet the multinational companies continue to get away with pleading lack of resources to get rid of extremist, violent content.
The evidence that far-right and Islamist groups use the internet to indoctrinate and to recruit is overwhelming.
And traditional printed press newspapers have long ago lost the ability to influence attitudes like they once did.
YouTube, Facebook and others need to accept their responsibility as publishers – meaning they must monitor whatever it is they are publishing.
Moshe Kantor (http://www.eurojewcong.org/about-us/ejc-president.html), president of the European Jewish Congress, told me:”I am alarmed by the refusal of technology giants such as Google to adhere to the European Commission codes of conduct on hate speech that they voluntarily adopted.
“Google’s failure to act plays in to the hands of anti-Semites and extremists.
“Our fundamental right to free speech can not be used to justify incitement to hatred.
“It is unacceptable for multinational companies to plead lack of resources to monitor and remove illegal and dangerous content.”
In truth, it is time these giant online operations, with their massive profit margins, adopt the basic behaviour already expected of any newspaper or television company.
And maybe some lobbying from the people still screaming so loudly at the newspapers wouldn’t go amiss.