Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning, Sir Nick Clegg addressed concerns around the banning of former US President Donald Trump from the social media site.
“I don’t think Facebook should make any apology for being reticent about how it seeks to vet political speech in an open democracy,” he said.
Mr Trump was banned indefinitely from Facebook following the riots at the Capitol building earlier in the month. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, said that Mr Trump “clearly demonstrated” that he would use his remaining time in office to “undermine the peaceful and lawful” transition of power.
Mr Clegg also hit out at a media code the Australian government is set to introduce that will force tech firms to pay for content from publishers. The code will require the likes of Facebook and Google to negotiate payments with news companies for their content.
“Even Tim Berners Lee has said that the Australian code would make the web unworkable around the world,” the former deputy prime minister said on radio this morning.
“The problem with the Australian model is, instead of allowing the kind of negotiations between Facebook and publishers, they want to impose an uncapped arbitrary set of arrangements completely unrelated to the commercial interaction between publishers and Facebook.”
He went on to say that no company should be “strong-armed” into giving a subsidy to another industry.