Guardian Journalist Carole Cadwalladr Reacts To Committee's Damning Report On Social Media

18 February 2019, 16:11 | Updated: 18 February 2019, 16:45

Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr reacts to a "striking" Parliamentary committee report on fake news that went in "guns blazing" on Facebook.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, Ms Cadwalladr said the committee report on fake news was "striking" because of the direct language used against social media sites, particularly Facebook.

"They haven't held back and they've really gone in guns blazing for Facebook," she said.

"They've called them digital gangsters, they've said that Mark Zuckerberg has held Parliament in contempt, they've said that senior executives deliberately set out to give them misinformation.

"These are very strong words by a company that up till now has basically just got away with doing what it wants, and that's what it says is. It seems to be beyond the rule of law."

Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr in the LBC studio
Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

The digital, culture, media and sport committee published its findings after an 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news, and accused Facebook of obstructing its inquiry.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected multiple invitations to answer questions to the committee, including a session by a newly-formed International Grand Committee made up of representatives of nine countries.

Referring to targeted advertising on the platform, Ms Cadwalladr said that Facebook used "information that is completely invisible to us" to target ads to individual people.

Shelagh responded: "Sometimes that information just gives you an advert for a nice sofa or a dress or whatever it is, but the more serious side of it is when you are bombarded with political information that you're not seeking, that you're getting."