Online advertisement and social media platforms have had a major impact on economies and societies around the globe. Those impacts are happening in retail, with the shift in spending from brick and mortar to online; in advertising, where revenues have moved from print and broadcast to online social platforms; and in society more broadly, through algorithmic-amplified extremism and hate speech. The big tech companies at the centre of these shifts have little incentive to change the nature of their operations. It now falls to nations around the globe to find ways to regulate big tech in the face of what many view as a market failure.
In this episode of Big Tech, co-hosts David Skok and Taylor Owen speak to Damian Collins, a British member of Parliament and former chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee. As chair of DCMS, Collins led the investigation into Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Brexit referendum. He was also involved in the creation of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and “Fake News.”
Collins doesn’t blame the tech giants for their inaction, but rather sees the problem as governance policies that have lagged behind. There is a need for policy to catch up and ensure citizens are protected, just as other complex global markets, such as the financial industry, have done. International cooperation and information sharing enable nations to take on the large global tech companies together without each needing to start from scratch.