17 January 2020
Dr Bill Mitchell OBE, Director of Policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “We agree with the Royal College of Psychiatrists that access to data from social media firms is vital; it will give us the evidence on which to base future policy that keeps young people safe.
"But we also need to be sure that we treat these users with respect and engage with them on how scientific research is conducted, using their data with consent in a way that will lead to societal benefit.
“The public do need to know that social media companies can be held to account if they are harming society. What we must be sure of is that any regulation is entirely for the benefit of the public and does not lead unintentionally to censorship that corrodes citizens’ rights.
“Social media is not inherently bad. We should be looking at how we make it a safe place for everyone and maximise the good it does to create friendships, knowledge and mutual respect.”