back to article London Mayor calls for social networks and sharing economy to stop harming society

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for social networks and sharing economy platforms to act for social good, rather than profit. In a keynote speech at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Khan laid some of the blame for increasing social division and nativist populism at the feet of technology companies. Social networks, he …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    "such posts can isolate, divide and drive people away from social media"

    Good...

    Just let the problem solve itself...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "drive people away from social media"

      Bring it on. Can't come soon enough for me.

      Emperor Zuck the first needs to be taken down as do the rest of them.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      But why should they care?

      For these guys all clickbait is good clickbait.

      All text entered another chance to more tightly profile the meat they offer up to their customers (the advertisers).

  2. jmch Silver badge

    Money quote

    "Rather than blaming companies for innovating ahead of regulation, politicians must fix things when the regulation is out-of-date. The question now for governments - or traditional sectors - should not be how we slow down innovation in its tracks - because we can't. And we shouldn't. It should be how we mitigate against the potentially negative impacts of disruption. And - more than that - how we can harness the very same technologies to drive up standards and to create more just and equal societies."

    Spot on

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money quote

      It should be how we mitigate against the potentially negative impacts of disruption.

      Trans: "it should be how we, the established political parties and elites, can control the message like we used to, to avoid derailing the gravy train, that gives me things like for example, free trips the US to spout shite on topics I know little or nothing about, whilst I am completely ineffective in resolving the grime, crime and inequality of the city that I'm mayor of"

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Money quote

      Spot on

      Tell that to the city first and then come after the drone makers once you have sorted out the banks

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money quote

      No, it's more of a fail :

      He's basically admitting that legislation cannot keep up with innovation.

      Also innovation is what causes inequality in the first place !

      It's not in the nature of companies to care about anything else than growth and money, so they will have to be regulated in the end anyway (though corruption is also a possible end state).

      Basically the plan seems to be to madly dash around, like in an old house with a leaky roof during a storm, trying desperately to fix a hole / place a bucket while two other holes are opening up...

  3. Timmy B Silver badge

    "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

    Where so many people are failing in this now is that a conversation includes ideas you don't agree with and even find repugnant. You debate and discus. You use your words to become better people with more rounded ideas.

    If some people are unable to absorb, discount or ignore differing ideas using their brains I suggest the internet, actually I suggest society is somewhere best avoided...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

      The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        Former neo-Nazi has swastika tattoo removed after befriending black police officer.

        What do you know, turns out it works after all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          "Former neo-Nazi has swastika tattoo removed after befriending black police officer."

          Sorry - but that did not, could not and will not, ever happen in the online environment.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

            Sorry - but that did not, could not and will not, ever happen in the online environment.

            You say that, and yet I used to be a died in the wool red or dead socialist in my youth. People change as the grow, and my previously deeply held beliefs progessively crumbled to the point the couldn't withstand debate and I realised the paucity of my own argument.

      2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        "The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible."

        The inability to open ones mind to debate and alternative ideas is, I completely agree, a failing on their part. Unfortunately not even trying is a failing on your part I'm afraid.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          You should have two upvotes - one for the comment and one for your name...

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          "The inability to open ones mind to debate and alternative ideas is, I completely agree, a failing on their part. Unfortunately not even trying is a failing on your part I'm afraid."

          I'm not sure about that. It's a cost-benefit thing. If you judge your success rate to be essentially nil, then even if the benefit is high and the cost low, you shouldn't bother. Governments have different costs and benefits, so they might bother, but for individuals, it's a far better use of their time not to even bother engaging with cranks of any form. (Nazis, flat earthers, anti-vaxxors, hollow earth theorists, any of them.)

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

            Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

            @DavCrav

            Indeed, but to write off even thinking about engaging as "risible" and not even considering the possibility that the individual in front of you might, if not change their mind, at least listen to reasoned argument is simply defeatist.

            Strictly speaking, there is absolutely no benefit to posting on an essentially anonymous forum voicing your opinions or trying to influence others here, yet we do. To what end? To have our voices heard? To garner upvotes? Or just to troll others? Essentially all of these ultimately are of no benefit to us as individuals yet here we are.

            Humans are indeed odd.

      3. Redstone
        Devil

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible.

        No, but maybe YOU can become a better person. If your arguments fail to persuade, or [horror of horrors] fail to stand up against theirs, then maybe you could refelct, revise and re-think your arguments to include more nuance.

        Even my socialist friends occasionally come up with ideas that cause me to revise my opinion. ;-)

      4. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        "The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible."

        The worst part of that statement is actually the "et al." . Where do you stop and who decides who you don't debate?

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          The worst part of that statement is actually the "et al." . Where do you stop and who decides who you don't debate?

          That's an individual choice not a group choice or government choice and as it should be. I wouldn't want someone telling me to go debate and change X's mind, would you? Would anyone what a Big Brother telling you who to talk to or who to debate?

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

            "That's an individual choice not a group choice or government choice and as it should be"

            Tell that to Lauren Southern. The government decided there.

      5. teebie

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        Great as it would be, you don't have to persuade the white supremacists that they are wrong to make a difference. Persuading the people who are considering agreeing with the white supremacists to ignore them also helps.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          ... and to complete that, someone listening to white supremacists is often easily mistaken for a white supremacist. Ostracising that person is the surest way to make a new white supremacist.

      6. Stuart Castle

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        "The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible."

        They aren't the people you need to persuade though. In a lot of cases, they are extremists, and the only thing that will persuade them is years of counseling (if anything). You need to persuade the moderate people that social media gives them access to.

        This is how the right wing has turned, in the last few years, from a few bunches of thugs that were, TBH, a bit of a joke into a serious political threat. They have spent the last few years building up their social media presence, and setting up other media outlets so they can push their message across. They have also, in a lot of cases, refined that message so it's less offensive and therefore harder to dismiss. The messages they use are often along the lines of "Things are broken, we will fix them". This is the basic message Trump used, and also the basic message that the Brexit campaigners used. They also provided a nice big bogeyman (immigration) for people to blame. The remain campaign and Hillary Clinton both pretty much said "Things are generally OK, but some things could improve". This is, I believe, what persuaded many people to vote Trump and to vote Leave. They saw something wrong in their lives. The right wing blamed immigration and said we are going to fix things. The left said "Your life is OK, but could be better". People went for the politicians that said they would do something.

        The left wing, on social media at least is doing the total opposite. They have turned their message from being requests for us to take reasonable actions to get along into cries that people are being prejudiced because they don't believe (to use an example I have actually seen) that it's offensive that there is one white guy who is a hero in Black Panther.

        Why is this a problem? Because there are those in the left wing who are doing good work, and do want people to work together, but their voices are being drowned out by the right wing, and those left wingers who cry out prejudice at the most inane and stupid things. It also means that moderate people are dismissing legitimate statements from the left as politically correct nonsense because they lump them in with all these pointless complaints. It's also pushing moderate voters to the right.

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          Because there are those in the left wing who are doing good work, and do want people to work together, but their voices are being drowned out by the right wing, and those left wingers who cry out prejudice at the most inane and stupid things. It also means that moderate people are dismissing legitimate statements from the left as politically correct nonsense because they lump them in with all these pointless complaints. It's also pushing moderate voters to the right.

          Very well said, have an up vote!

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

          @ Stuart Castle

          "This is the basic message Trump used, and also the basic message that the Brexit campaigners used. They also provided a nice big bogeyman (immigration) for people to blame. The remain campaign and Hillary Clinton both pretty much said "Things are generally OK, but some things could improve""

          But thats not quite what happened was it? Hillary insulted the lower educated as trump supporters by reasoning that trump supporters were the lower educated. Capturing that group Trump made the inclusive message that yes he does represent a large portion of America that Hillary just rejected. I still maintain that Trumps win could have been due to the Democrats dictating the winner but the Republicans deferring to democracy. The Democrats had their own Trump (Bernie), the outsider with large claims.

          Brexit seems very complicated with good reasons to leave based on trade, economy, sovereignty, democracy, immigration, etc. Yet as you point out the argument was claimed to be about immigration (a limit set by remain). This is probably because Cameron supported brexit and accepted it wasnt a problem before the referendum, Carney and Osborne argued against economic recovery they have and are still performing and they have little ground to argue on sovereignty. So they ran a project fear (the official leave campaign sucked bad too) of negativity while leave poked holes in the EU. Even the staunch EU supporting media was accepting it was broken, but we should stay to reform it.

          "It's also pushing moderate voters to the right"

          I have noticed for some time that the left wing has stopped discussing and stopped debating. If you disagree you are either racist, xenophobe, intolerant, homophobe, transphobe, evil, hitler, etc. My way is the right way and any other opinion is probably one of the above. On the right there is discussion, and not always good discussion. But do you listen to someone who says I am right and everyone else is evil, or do you listen to a reasoned argument?

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

            The thing people are missing is that Trump didn't win, and nor did Brexit. In both cases their opponents failed hard.

            Hillary attacked a broad swathe of the voters, exactly like Mitt Romney did before her, and her ratings plummetted just like his.

            The most vocal Remainers needed to admit that when you're defending a treaty that prioritises immigration from a handful of white-majority countries at the cost of all other immigrants, the race card is probably best shuffled back into the deck. Sadly if you dared to suggest that to them during the campaign they just screamed at you that you were racist too.

            For the record, I personally know a Black remainer from the midlands who insists she voted remain because she doesn't want more of her family coming here.

      7. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: "our contribution to the overall health of the public conversation".

        The notion that you can 'debate' with white supremacists, holocaust deniers, et al., and that they will become 'better' people, is risible.

        Spoken like a typical hard of thinking social justice warrior.

        I intensely dislike racism, of all types, and find that debating white supremacists, or indeed those black people that for whatever batshit crazy reasons think that only white people can be racist, is the only way to affect change in their beliefs.

        The lefty tendency to yell racist at anyone seeking to debate immigration has led half the country to be afraid to voice their opinions and resulted in a massive pushback in the Brexit referendum. Has nothing been learned yet?

        This horrific idea the most emotive & vocal sections of our society have developed that all other world views bar their own are somehow wrong, or even inherently evil, is not going to end well - either for them or for wider society.

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    Hold up.

    The Grenfell Tower residents are still in emergency accomodation, and this gobshite gets an expenses paid trip to America to talk shite about stuff he really has no say over?

    That's absolutely disgusting.

    1. Redstone

      Of course he does. He's a VIP, don't you know....

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Oh yeah, I know he's a VIP alright. A Very Important Prick.

        1. dave 81

          Very *Impotent Prick

          FTFY

        2. Redstone

          On that we can agree.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Fairly sure members of the Kensington & Chelsea borough are readers of El Reg and don't like the truth being made public.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Tech 2018 = Banksters 2008 - Politicians talk big, but they don't really want to fix anything:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-01/britain-s-white-collar-cops-are-getting-too-good-at-their-job

  6. John70

    First of all, why is the London Mayor in Texas?

    He should be in London doing his job not going on junkets.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      First of all, why is the London Mayor in Texas?

      That question is twofold.

      He took a stand of not going to USA in light of Trump policies when the travel ban came out.

      The fact that he is there shows how little does it take for him to wh*re out his principles.

      1. Redstone
        Trollface

        Oh come on. He took that stand last year. You're supposed to have fogotten about that by now.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    The problem it's personal, take people off Twitter and Facebook

    I doubt any politician really needs a Twitter or Facebook account. If it were just the London Assembly posting dry and faceless policy messages, it'd hugely cut back on personal attacks. Repeat that for every organisation or business.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The problem it's personal, take people off Twitter and Facebook

      from article: "Social networks, he said, have empowered and amplified those who spread divisive ideas by turning a blind eye to their own influence and being slow to develop rapid takedown technologies."

      politicians on Twitter - would that be like Donald Trump?

      OK here's a thought: what are "they" really after here? Let's read between the lines.

      "those who spread divisive ideas" - read: Those who say things I don't like when others agree with them.

      "turning a blind eye to their own influence" - read: How DARE they convince people I'm wrong!

      "being slow to develop radpid takedown technologies" - read: They should be SILENCED before ANYBODY can read what they said, because others MIGHT actually BELIEVE it!

      So, to me, the politicians here don't LIKE public discourse on matters THEY do not want discussed... and the LAST thing THEY want to see, is the equivalent of Donald Trump over in the UK!

      meanwhile, I think 'The Donald' is doing QUITE well over here on the other side of the pond. G'head, howler monkeys, downvote me. yeah it's "divisive" to NOT fall in LOCK STEP [think Nazi Germany] with YOU people. So, you throw poo and downvote and think it affects people like me. But the truth is, we all knew this stuff before, and were simply VERY HAPPY to know that there are OTHERS out there who are like US, and not YOU.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: The problem it's personal, take people off Twitter and Facebook

        Bob,

        On the surface I agree..... but there's a problem you're overlooking. Trump's WH is in total disarray due to his firing of anyone who disagrees with him. That is very divisive and bad for morale. Healthy dialog is great so is listening to the ideas of others. Our President seems not to want to listen or engage in public dialog unless it's with those who agree with him.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: The problem it's personal, take people off Twitter and Facebook

        What about Tillerson getting fired hours after criticising Russia, eh? Something just a little odd there, don't you think?

  8. Fihart

    What about airbnb ?

    Visible damage to society from the abuse of accommodation sites such as airbnb by landlords cashing in on the higher rents they can achieve via short lets to tourists instead of letting (annually or so) to actual residents.

    Then there's Gumtree, favoured by fake landlords pocketing deposits on flats they have no connection with. Internet also home to chancers doing rent-to-rent sublets, adding to the cost and insecurity of those who end up actually occupying such places.

  9. Cuddles Silver badge

    increasing social division and nativist populism

    "Clearly, these are debates that have a long way to run."

    These debates have been running since people invented the ability to debate. There are accounts going back nearly as old as writing itself complaining about the decline of society, the disrespect and poor morals of the youth, and how everyone needs to get off my lawn. The blame has been placed on pretty much anything that has ever been popular - literature, music, dancing, alcohol, coffee, theatre, video games, cars, the telephone, television, and now social media. Of course, none of the complaints ever actually go away, so music, drink, games and TV are still also the cause of all society's ills.

    Sure, social media is a new thing that probably needs some sort of regulation, or at least thinking about exactly how it should be used and managed. But society is not declining, technology companies are not to blame for the decline that isn't happening, and nothing has actually changed significantly from the days cavemen were complaining about the terrible influence these new-fangled rocks were having on the youths of the day.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: increasing social division and nativist populism

      Web the leader of the free world flings shit via Twitter, something's gone wrong somewhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Leader of the free world

        No I don't think Trump is much of a leader, people compare him with Hitler, I've no idea why, Trump can hardly read, and definitely can't write a book (on his own), he's hardly popular at home, about as presidential as a brick. Khan may be on a bit of a junket, but his arguments have some merits and compared to Trump is positively presidential. I've yet to see Trump do anything that improves the USA or helps anyone other than himself, his family or his friends, he has actively harmed both the USA and countries that are friends and allies.

        Though to give him his due he is endlessly entertaining, much like the three stooges, stupid but amusing, President of the USA yes, but Leader of the free world, no not anymore, it would suggest some following and that's not happening, unless it's a paid for endorsement.

        As they say, the USA has the best government and president that money can buy.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Leader of the free world

          "No I don't think Trump is much of a leader, people compare him with Hitler, I've no idea why, Trump can hardly read, and definitely can't write a book (on his own), he's hardly popular at home, about as presidential as a brick"

          You're echoing the same unsubstantiated rumors as so many others, I see. Try watching Fox News (instead of PMSNBC or FNN or ABS or NBS or CBS or NPR or Comedy Central) and get the REAL story about how successful Donald Trump has been with only a little more than a year in office. Our "turned around" economy is #1 on that list. (hopefully BBC is better than the 3 letter networks over on THIS side of the pond when it comes to accurate news reporting).

          Perhaps the REAL problem is brainless people echoing the same lies and rumors as if they are truth, and trying to sound 'authoritative' in the process.

          1. genghis_uk

            Re: Leader of the free world

            "Try watching Fox News (snip!) and get the REAL story... "

            Err, what? Does not compute!

            1. Arctic fox
              Headmaster

              Re "Err, what? Does not compute!"

              That would be because Mr Bombastic misspelled the name of the TV station concerned. The correct spelling is of course "Fake News". :)

              1. Michael Habel Silver badge

                Re: Re "Err, what? Does not compute!"

                No the correct speling would either be the BBC, or CNN surly.

              2. Rattus Rattus

                @Arctic Fox

                Faux News

          2. J27 Bronze badge

            Re: Leader of the free world

            Yes, brainless people echoing inaccurate things they watched of TV is a huge problem.

            Also, "leader of the free world" is a joke to all us non-USicans. Every time we hear it it translates as "I'm out to lunch". Being leader of a powerful country doesn't mean you ruler of the world. Especially not a country that's so heavily in debt to China, Saudi Arabia and numerous other countries.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: Leader of the free world

              And, just what part of "Make America Great Again!" is leading you to suspect that Trump actually gives a toss about something in your neck of the woods, on some distant shore.... Far... Far away from him? NEWSFLASH He doesn't! Me thinks your thinking of 'ol Berry... Now theres an SOB who'd be a king of the world if he could.

          3. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Leader of the free world

            Our "turned around" economy is #1 on that list.

            Economies are like supertankers: they don't turn around in such a short space of time. Also, what's good for one group of people in the economy is not necessarily any good for a much larger group of people, so what one person might interpret as an indicator of improvement means quite the opposite to another person: Trump's recent time-limited tax cuts are an example of this, as is his unwillingness (or inability) to invest in national infrastructure at anything like the level he promised while campaigning.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: Leader of the free world

              Again. Why should Trump (or by proxy any sane leader of any Country), give so much as a toss about how Country "B" might feel? Its up to Country "B" to do the job of looking out for Country "B"'s People, and nobody elese. This is why the great Bruxelles exprement WILL FAIL. Sadly not today, and not after you manage to limp away with Brexit lite. Which will do nothing for but, to strip you of any say you might have had otherwise. Because your PM is too concerned with the needs of Phil, and Bill, and not Bob, and Steve. To be bothered to do the right thing, which is to tell that lot to fork right the hell off!

              Hopefully Italy will manage to get this much correct, in the comming years.

            2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: Leader of the free world

              "Also, what's good for one group of people in the economy is not necessarily any good for a much larger group of people"

              More jobs are great for workers, but the increase in wage cost is murder on employers. That's what you meant?

          4. Walter Bishop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Leader of the free world

            @bombastic bob: "You're echoing the same unsubstantiated rumors as so many others, I see. Try watching Fox News"

            This is meant to be satire in'it :]

          5. Rattus Rattus

            I watched Fox News

            It was hilarious.

          6. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: Leader of the free world

            "hopefully BBC is better than the 3 letter networks over on THIS side of the pond when it comes to accurate news reporting"

            Sorry, Bob, but no. And oddly I always thought you were a Brit. Well there you go.

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Leader of the free world

          apperently you might have missed the memo of the impending trade war, in which America WILL come out the victor. In fact in most things the US doen't even have to go that far to find. So when this Trade War actually lands, and it starts to actually get US Steal Mills back up and, running, as it will! You can bet your sorry rear, that Trump will still be 'round well after 2020.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: increasing social division and nativist populism

        You aren't that far off... Perphap the "Monkey" would stop flinging turds as you say. If the MSM would just grow up and, get over a certin lil' Girls loss about what Fourteen Months ago now. But, yeah lets balme them rascly Russian Trolls about it instead? And, forget about how Hillery is just pure nurotoxin outside of her rather miniscule base. In which nobody had ever thought to poll outside of. Much to their pained (and most laughable), expresions of utter horror, and contempt.

        So yeah of course Trump wants to set a few records straight. Bugger all if he can trust the MSM (Who would personally love to see him dead!), to do that job themselves.

        1. Just Enough

          Re: increasing social division and nativist populism

          "If the MSM would just grow up and, get over a certin lil' Girls loss about what Fourteen Months ago now."

          You know who bangs on about Hillary Clinton more than anyone? Clinton is yesterday's news. No-one cares. Yet not a day goes by without some Trump-ite, or the Man-child himself, giving us the old "But Hillary!" whine. And here you are with today's whine.

          Meanwhile, back in the real and present world, Trump is securely in Putin's back pocket and his supporters are too blind to notice. Putin could land on the White House front lawn with a fleet of gun helicopters, and Trump would be out the back, waving his arms and shouting "Nothing to see here! Hillary! Emails! Lock her up!"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theory not yet disproved

    14 years on, and as relevant as ever:

    https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

  11. Carpet Deal 'em
    Flame

    "If that duty of care is not exercised, he said social networks can expect harsh regulation like Germany's 24-hour takedown laws or the European Commission's one-hour deadline for removal of terror-related content."

    Right now somebody's suing Twitter over that "duty of care" under the claim that they're in violation of California law(Jared Taylor et al vs. Twitter), arguing they qualify as a public forum and thus have to let "race realists" and the like have their say.

    Given that all the big networks are based in Cali, I'd just love to see the international shitshow Twitter loses. Unmovable wall and unstoppable object here we come.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      You mean like how they did that to Sargon of Akkad Last week? Because all he said was that Merkels great experiment was a failure, and a disater waiting to happen?

  12. johnnyblaze

    Delusional

    Sounds like a lovely warm comment from the London Mayor, but does he really think mega-corps in a capitalist society will suddenly change their ways and do things for the greater good rather than cold, hard cash? Yeah right, tell their shareholders or the city that, and watch shares tumble. I can tell you which would win.

    Not that I disagree with the comments of course - it makes sense. Social media is tearing society apart, and having a terribly negative effect especially on the young, but he's just delusional I'm afraid.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Delusional

      "do things for the greater good rather than cold, hard cash?"

      who says they have to be different goals? I say that the GREATEST GOOD is FREE SPEECH! _ANY_ form of censorship, which is what is being asked for here [do NOT doubt me], is NOT "the greatest good".

      And when those who define "the greater good" as "being in LOCK STEP with THEM" _ENFORCE_ that "greater good" upon the free speech of OTHERS, you get the OPPOSITE of "the greater good", regardless of "feelings" or intent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delusional

        bombastic

        bɒmˈbastɪk

        adjective

        high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated.

        "bombastic rhetoric"

        synonyms: pompous, blustering, ranting, blathering; More

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: for the greater good

          (In a broad West Country accent)

          "The greater good"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Is Sadiq Khan actually a real person...?

    I thought he was just an empty construction of social media, a Mayorbot, if you like.

    The only thing he does is to get his name (with monotonous regularity) on every TfL poster around.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Junket

    Who paid for this guy's junket to Austin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Junket

      He will have to declare who paid for his junket to the GLA/London Assembly.

      Now as to when that information will be made public is another matter.

      He's definitely a different Mayor than Boris. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. Only time will tell.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Khan do, won't do

    Can't take Khan seriously at all, I had the displeasure of being on a flight with him... he was as rude little s#!t to both me and the cabin crew. He didn't spout any race hate or anything but practice what you preach in each of its forms.

    Being nice doesn't cost anything and if you are a senior public figure, why would you be rude to joe public? No time for this clown.

    Yes, I'm sure he is devastated :(

  16. J27 Bronze badge

    Sadiq Khan sounds like he wants to control how everyone else lives their life. That's bordering on megalomania. It's a good thing he doesn't have any real power, otherwise he might try to take over the world.

  17. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Or in other words....

    Would those with a desenting view towards our glorious anachro-communistic NWO just kindly fork off?!

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Or in other words....

      "KHHAAAAANNN!!!"

      Somebody had to say it...

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Or in other words....

        To bad your version just isn't anywhere near as likeable, or as suave as the late Ricardo Montalban.

  18. Reader2435

    Free speech

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - born 1906, killed circa 2010 by social media.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Free speech

      @ Reader2435

      ""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - born 1906, killed circa 2010 by social media."

      Social media has made it quicker, cheaper and easier to post a view or opinion to more people worldwide. Its governments trying to kill such freedom.

  19. Slx

    It's a bit of a genie-out-of-bottle situation though. I'm not really sure that you can put it back in.

    On the other side of it, the UK's nice traditional tabloid media has also been hugely responsible for what's happened with Brexit and Fox News and others are deeply responsible for the rise of Trump.

    Is the problem social media, or is it just a world where we've lost the ability to distinguish between 'content' and 'journalism'.

  20. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Meaning What?

    That they should only be used to call the faithful to prayer three times a day?

  21. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    WRT Twitter death threats, when did the Internet become real life? I recall back in the early days, when it was mostly Academic users, we used terms like 'netizens' to describe users of the World Wide Web, and saw it as some sort of alternate reality, a projection of ourselves in an alternate landscape.

    So when did we start thinking that bile spewed in the upside down drips upwards?

    I had death threats back in the day, usually some gun nut or religious fundamentalist. My usual response was 'send me your address, I'll come meet you IRL', and of course, they'd never dare doxx themselves, and to be honest, I wasn't ever going to buy the plane tickets.

  22. Gravis Ultrasound

    I remember once perceiving Europe as becoming more and more liberal....everybody would eventually be able to express themselves without governmental interference.

    It was a good feeling!

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @ Gravis Ultrasound

      "I remember once perceiving Europe as becoming more and more liberal....everybody would eventually be able to express themselves without governmental interference."

      Liberal seems to mean something different over here. The translation being- thinking the 'right' way, or- only sticking to 'approved' words and topics, or- government good businesses baaaahd.

  23. 101
    Big Brother

    In other words....

    We need internet communication corporations to do more CENSORSHIP of politically incorrect words and conduct more granular SURVEILLANCE of users in order to find and punish those who would make political incorrect comments.

    A good way to FIX the internet would be to ban ENCRYPTION, except for government and corporate approved communication.

    The politicians and corporations are ganging up on us. They want absolute control. I think they will win, because most people don't get the message and don't care.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Learning from history

    Before twitter and facebook there were other mediums that people used to use to attack politicians. Letters to the thunderer of course would only get through if the editor accepted them, but there was plenty of hate mail carried around by the royal mail before the days of the internet.

    Perhaps letters should be banned or regulated. At least a hate filled rant via electronic means won't explode and blow your poor secretaries hands off like physical letter bombs do.

    But back before the days of the royal mail it was common to attack politicians using pamphlets and there were moves by the luddite in power to ban those, and ban the printing press as they were the means of production.

    I seem to remember from my dim distant past sitting in o-level history lessons that some of the protections built into the English legal system date from this period. It was decided that warrants could not be issued without naming the alleged criminal and what they were alleged to have done.

    What ever technology comes along those who can't use it to enhance their grip on power will seek to have it banned.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Effective if he mentioned Anti-Semetic comments

    His speech would have been more effective if he mentioned Anti-Sematic comments, but wait Muslims are allowed to do that. Take the log out of your own eye before you go after the spec in mine.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By the time the politicians eventually make some laws

    (which will be full of holes and/or not cover the issue) the social media landscape will have moved on anyway

    IMHO/IME Facebook (the website and app) social-media centre is in terminal decline. The cool kids aren't joining, and the oldies are posting less and less, and spending less time on there.

  27. IGnatius T Foobar

    Leadership fail

    This is a leadership fail, pure and simple. London needs a more competent and inspirational leader.

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