Skip to content

London Mayor Sadiq Khan cautions tech giants on hate speech

More regulation and larger fines are some of the options available to make tech companies take note of the issue of hate speech more seriously.

That’s according to Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, who told the BBC “we can’t assume that tech companies will find the solutions by themselves.”

Khan went on to note that technology businesses should instead be “chivvied and cajoled to take action”.

The London Mayor is due to share some examples of abuse he’s received during his keynote speech at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival held in Austin, Texas.

Khan went on to say: “For too long politicians and policy makers have allowed this revolution to take place around us and we’ve had our heads in the sand.”

The Mayor is due to reference some of the rules put in place by Germany, which allow fines of up to €50m if hate speech published on a particular platform is not deleted in a timely manner.

“Germany is an example of where the German government said ‘Enough. Unless you take down hate messages, unless you take down fake news, we will fine you.”

Khan said he wants to work with technology businesses but urged them to take responsibility.

The Mayor added he wants London to continue at the centre of disruptive technology and encouraged startups, scaleups and tech giants to continue coming to the UK’s capital city.

“But, and there’s a very important but, we as politicians and policy makers have got to work with you to make sure it works for everyone.

“What I don’t want is a situation where we end up where Germany’s ended up where because their citizens don’t feel protected they’re taking this sort of action. Germany is an example of what happens if companies don’t self-regulate.”