Facebook has entered a fresh censorship row after the platform blocked controversial – yet lawful comments made by leading politicians.
An experiment carried out by civil liberties NGO Big Brother Watch used dummy accounts of made up citizens to post copies of comments made by politicians including Boris Johnson, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner.
Big Brother Watch said that while the comments that were made were ‘unpleasant’ and rightly criticised at the time, this alone was ‘not a legitimate basis for censorship’.
The Online Safety Bill, which is expected to be published in the coming days, will impose a duty of care on tech giants to protect users against illegal or harmful content.
Mark Johnson, of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Social media companies are already doing serious damage to free speech in the UK.
‘The new Bill is a censor’s charter that would make this situation worse and threatens to cause a free-speech crisis in this country.’