Twitter CEO Agrees with Facebook CEO, Supports Regulation of Social Media Platforms

Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said rules like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation have had a positive impact on the technology industry, remarks that come days after Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for stepped up government oversight of social media platforms.

“Generally I think regulation is a good thing,” Dorsey said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg in Toronto. “There are things like GDPR that have been net-positive, not just for our platform, but also for the industry in general, and specifically it adds a lot more clarity around privacy” and “how data is being used.”

Europe’s GDPR regulation imposes strict rules on how data collectors gather and use its citizens’ information and gives consumers more control of their data. Companies must comply or face potentially hefty fines. In Zuckerberg’s recent call for regulation — covering harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability — he suggested that rules such as GDPR should serve as a global common framework.

The embracing of government oversight come as Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies face mounting bipartisan criticism that they have allowed the exploitation of personal data, election meddling on their services, and have failed to remove hateful and violent content fast enough. Dorsey has made ridding the platform of toxic content and encouraging more thoughtful conversation a priority at Twitter.

“I think our role as a company should be that of an educator, helping regulators and legislators understand what’s happening with technology,” Dorsey said. “It’s the job of regulators to ensure protection of the individual and a level playing field.”