Angela Rayner, the deputy leader in the Labour Party in the U.K., said this week that the party believes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should be jailed for failing to properly police the social media platform for racist comments.
The story: Rayner made the comments in an interview with Channel 4 News where she discussed the online racial abuse that some England players faced after Sunday’s Euro 2020 final where the team was defeated by Italy.
The targeted players, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, all missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout.
Many politicians in the U.K. condemned the racist and offensive remarks aimed at the players. Britain’s Metropolitan Police said Monday that it will investigate the comments.
What she said: Rayner was asked by host Cathy Newman to elaborate on previous comments about the party’s stance on racist comments on social media.
“You’ve talked about criminalizing social media companies who don’t clamp down on racist views online. What would Labour do to toughen up that online safety bill?” Newman asked.
Rayner, the Labour Party’s Shadow First Secretary of State and Deputy Leader, said the Labour Party believes that social media companies, like Twitter and Facebook, should face criminal sanctions if they’re unsuccessful in taking action against such remarks on their respective platforms.
“We believe there should be criminal sanctions against [social media companies] and their executives because only when they’re held to account in that way will they do something. They’ve been given the opportunity to regulate themselves and they haven’t done that,” Rayner said.
Newman pressed further, asking if the party thinks it would be appropriate to jail Zuckerberg in such cases.
“If Labour was in government, would it really propose locking up Mark Zuckerberg if he fails to take action on this abuse?” Newman asked.
“Absolutely, we believe there should be criminal sanctions. They should do more,” Rayner responded. “Those comments should not be online, and they should be stopped.”
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