Code of conduct to combat fake news: Pros and cons

Google, Facebook and Twitter have pledged to work together with other tech companies to fight the spread of fake news online by signing up to an EU code of conduct.
Here are two experts on each side of the debate.
Laurie Laybourn-Langton, a senior research fellow at IPPR and co-author of a recent report on digital platforms, thinks it's a good idea:
Code of conduct to combat fake news: Pros and cons

Laurie Laybourn-Langton wants to see a more radical approach
Only changing the business model of tech giants will change their behaviour.The summer has been a mixed bag for the tech giants. On the one hand, some became trillion dollar companies and their owners are now the richest people in history. On the other, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has stoked fears over user privacy, the impact on our democracy, and the platform's record on spotting and reacting to false or misleading information.It is simply unremarkable that digital platforms have become a home for fake news and a medium through which to more effectively target and manipulate voters. This is because data accumulation and analysis to build tools of manipulation for profit is foundational to the business model of large digital platforms, something which anyone in or near the industry knows.The code of conduct presented by tech firms to the EU is their latest attempt to manage a perception problem they fear is graduating from political backlash to policy response. In the UK, this summer saw Sajid Javid warn of tech firms' record on child safety and Jeremy Corbyn highlight the oversized role of platforms in our consumption of news.A code of conduct gives the appearance of change while allowing the platform business model to remain untouched.Ultimately, it is as ineffective as previous attempts to rein in the power of the tech giants, including fining Facebook a few minutes' revenue after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.The wealth, power and reach of the tech giants into so many areas of our social and economic lives shows that a more radical approach is needed.Structural reform to address the platform business model is needed, including rethinking the ownership and governance of data and the underlying, increasingly ubiquitous digital infrastructure of our economy and society.Whereas today the digital economy is dominated large monopolies, we need to move towards a "digital commonwealth" where data is a collective resource that drives equitable innovation, and digital infrastructure is a public good.

Charlie Parker, researcher in digital democracy for The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, says it's a bad idea:
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