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Speculation Social media ‘monopolies’ under threat

SOCIAL media companies have been warned that their “monopoly” of fake news could come to an end over the next year.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been told to “open up or break up” in 2018 as the consequences of helping the spread of viral content with false information reaches boiling point, according to Dr Damian Tambini, director of the London School of Economics media policy project.

He said: “It may well be that this is the beginning of the end for these firms.

“The days of social networks enjoying an ability to shift public opinion, while remaining largely free of the liabilities publishers face, may be numbered.”

Social media companies have been criticised recently for failing to co-operate with a parliamentary investigation into fake news and allegations of Russian interference in British politics.

Twitter’s response to the probe was described as “completely inadequate” by Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee chairman, Tory MP Damian Collins, who also accused Facebook of doing virtually “no work” to assist the investigation.

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