BILLIONAIRE Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has called for his apps to be regulated so hard that it "hurts".
The Harvard drop-out, 35, said that Facebook needed more oversight – and said tech giants "should serve society".
Facebook has had countless privacy, security and content catastrophes in recent years.
The firm has been hacked, has leaked data on hundreds of millions of users, and even suggested "child abuse videos" to shocked users.
Governments, experts and the public are quickly tiring of Facebook's rogue antics – with many calling for better regulation of social media.
Now Zuckerberg himself has asked for regulation in an article for the Financial Times.
"Companies like mine need better oversight when we make decisions," wealthy mogul Zuckerberg wrote.
He went to explain how good regulation would likely hurt Facebook – but would be worthwhile in the end.
"Tech companies should serve society," Facebook's founder and chief explained.
"I believe good regulation may hurt Facebook's business in the near term.
"But it will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term."
Zuckerberg added: "We won't agree with every proposal. Regulation can have unintended consequences."
In Facebook's United States homeland, there is limited regulation of social media.
Tech firms take care to avoid illegally collecting the data of children – but are generally free to operate as they like.
US lawmakers have investigated and questioned Facebook several times, with little effect.
In the UK, tech regulation has been stepped up a notch.
Just last week, then-Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan and Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed plans that would see all social media firms sign up to a new legal duty of care
Ms Patel warned sites like Facebook and Snapchat must no longer be used as a “hiding place” for vile criminals – but stayed silent on what punishment they would be given if they breach the new code.
They are expected to face fines, but the government has yet to decide what sanctions if any to issue.
It will apply to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit – as well as smaller sites that include forums, comments or video sharing.
However, Ofcom won’t respond to individual complaints and instead will decide what kind of behaviour is appropriate.
Ofcom will get new powers to carry out its extended responsibilities, including making sure online companies have the systems and processes in place to keep platforms safe.
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will need to ensure illegal content is removed quickly and minimise the risk of it appearing.
The government will set the direction through legislation, but will leave things flexible for Ofcom to adapt to emerging harms.
Who is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook?
Here's what you need to know…
- Mark Zuckerberg is the chairman, CEO and co-founder of social networking giant Facebook
- Born in New York in 1984, Zuckerberg already had a "reputation as a programming prodigy" when he started college
- While at Harvard, Zuckerberg launched a site called Face Mash, on which students ranked the attractiveness of their classmates
- Harvard shut the site down after its popularity crashed a network and Zuckerberg later apologised saying it was "completely improper"
- The following term he began working on an early version of Facebook
- The 33-year-old launched the social network from his dorm room on February 4, 20o4 with the help of fellow students
- The friends would end up embroiled in legal disputes as they challenged Zuckerberg for shares in the company
- Zuckerberg also faced action from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, as well as Divya Narendra who claimed he had stolen their idea – the disagreement was later turned into the film, The Social Network
- The tech prodigy dropped out of Harvard to focus on Facebook, but received an honorary degree in 2017
- Speaking about the site to Wired magazine in 2010 he said: "The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open"
- By 2012 Facebook had one billion users. By June 2017 it had reached two billion users every month
Some have suggested that Facebook should take more action now – rather than waiting for regulation.
But Zuckerberg hit back at those criticisms in his op-ed.
"To be clear, this isn't about passing off responsibility," the divisive tech whizz wrote.
"Facebook is not waiting for regulation; we're continuing to make progress on these issues ourselves.
"But I believe clearer rules would be better for everyone.
"The internet is a powerful force for social and economic empowerment. Regulation that protects people and supports innovation can ensure it stays that way."
In other news, Mark Zuckerberg was accused of "helping child abusers" with his plan to encrypt chats.
Several Facebook privacy blunders in 2018 caused Zuckerberg's firm to lose about £180billion in value.
And furious Facebook employees even resorted to buying burner phones to badmouth Zuck's leadership.
Do you think Mark Zuckerberg is a well-meaning tech geek or an evil genius? Let us know in the comments!
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