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

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Val Strefeler
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And for politicians to regulate before disruption disrupts disruptively

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 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.

The mayor read out some of the death threats and racial slurs he's received on Twitter to make his point, adding that such posts can isolate, divide and drive people away from social media or from engagement with real-world activities.

"What we need to see is a stronger duty of care so that social media platforms can live up to their promise of being places that connect, unify and democratise the sharing of information and be places where everyone feels valued and welcome."

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Val Strefeler
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