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article imageTime for a non-profit rival to Facebook?

By Tim Sandle     Aug 25, 2018 in Internet
Edinburgh - In a period marred by data breaches and where it is difficult to differentiate on social media between real news and fake news, is it time for a non-profit service to rival Facebook? The idea has been proposed by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Frustrated by the data breaches that have hampered Facebook as well as concerns with the way the sources of news can be difficult to discern, Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of the U.K. Labour Party has put forward the idea of a “British Digital Corporation”. This body would be similar to that of the world-renowned BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation, which is supported by a license fee).
The aims of the British Digital Corporation would be of function as a think-tank, in taking the lead on digital policy and technology,. The body would also provide non-profit social media services, functioning as an alternative media outlet to for-profit institutions like Facebook and Twitter.
Corbyn, whose Labour Party is ahead of Teresa May's Conservatives in the latest opinion polls, made the proposal at a speech delivered during the Edinburgh TV event, which is part of the wider annual Edinburgh Festival.
In his address, Corbyn said: "A British Digital Corporation could use all of our best minds, the latest technology and our existing public assets not only deliver information and entertainment to rival Netflix and Amazon, but also to harness data for the public good."
He added that a British Digital Corporation "could develop new technology for online decision making and audience-led commissioning of programmes and even a public social media platform with real privacy and public control over the data that is making Facebook and others so rich."
According to TechCrunch, Corbyn’s ideas are timely, whether his proposal is to be supported or not, given the concerns over the role played by widely-used social media platforms in influencing the outcome of key democratic processes, such as the Brexit referendum in the U.K. and the U.S. Presidential election, which ushered in the Trump administration.
More about British Digital Corporation, Facebook, jeremy corbyn, Labour party
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