Piers Morgan: 'It's time to invest less money in sanitising opinions and more on keeping children safe'

Thursday 1 February 2024

By TalkTV's Piers Morgan

Every so often the West Coast tech giants are hauled over to the East Coast of the Unites States for a ritual humiliation at the hands of the US Senate.

They land a few punches. They get punched a few times, a few headlines get generated and you end up with some very powerful people looking pretty uncomfortable, but nothing normally really changes.

When it comes to an issue as serious as child abuse - it surely has to.

Yesterday the head honchos of tech giants including Meta, TikTok, Snapchat and X appeared in Congress to face questions on the serious harm their products are causing to children.

Some of the exchanges were toe-curling. None more so than the moment Mark Zuckerberg, who runs Meta which is Facebook and Instagram, attempted to explain why some content flagged as child abuse on Instagram somehow remains available to view.

Sometimes we’re wrong, he says. Really? That’s the excuse?

Surely if there is any risk whatsoever that images of child abuse are being shared, they must be instantly removed? How can any sane person argue otherwise?

Senator Lindsey Graham was loudly cheered by watching parents when he said that Zuckerberg had "blood on his hands" because he "had a product that's killing people".

Well he has a product that's incredibly popular, it's made him incredibly rich, a lot of people use Facebook very safely and there's no problem with that.

It's one of the successful companies in history.

But the people that were cheering were parents whose children had been victims of horrific exploitation on those platforms, or whose children had taken their lives.

Mark Zuckerberg made an apology and despite it showing his unfortunate tendency to talk and sound like an AI generated lawyer, I do believe Mark Zuckerberg wants his products to be a force for good in the world.

At least he had the decency to turn around and apologise to those parents.

He wasn't by any means the only tech giant boss there, they were all there, but he was the one that did that. Credit to him for doing so.

This is the way the modern world communicates. It’s where we’re entertained and educated. It’s integral to our lives and it’s not going to go anywhere. It's going to get bigger and bigger.

But that’s exactly why we need to trust that the people in charge of it know what they're doing and do it properly.

One thing they’re very good at is keeping us safe from content we find distasteful.

You might remember the scandal of the Hunter Biden laptop, which disappeared on your Facebook news feed. It disappeared from Twitter as it was called then. Deliberately censored by big tech.

And as a result, Joe Biden won the election and we'll never know whether the scandal, had it been properly allowed to permeate through social media because it was all true, might have tipped the balance towards Trump to serve a second term.

And yet, ironically, Facebook along with others, moved quickly to ban former President Trump from their platforms for three years.

Currently, the Piers Morgan Uncensored Facebook page appears to be shadow-banned too.

This is a regular occurrence where if they don't like the look of some content, they just down-play it for the audience so that people don't see it.

I don't think that's right. I think that's a form of censorship too.

Meta makes 100 billion dollars a year in profit. It’s time to invest less of it in sanitising opinions and more on keeping children safe and that applies to all those other platforms too.

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