Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category


Time to bring Facebook to book

February 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“Facebook is an out-of-control train wreck that is destroying democracy and must be brought under control. The final report of parliament’s inquiry into fake news and disinformation does not use this language, precisely, but it is, nonetheless, the report’s central message. And the language it does use is no less damning. Facebook behaves like a “digital gangster”. […]

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Why has it taken us so long to address the issue of harmful content on the Internet?

February 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

It’s good to hear that the news that Instagram is now going to remove self-harm images and encouragement to suicide from its service. But why has it taken so long and why is the industry not adopting a more comprehensive approach to harmful content of different kinds? Almost two decades ago, I became the first […]

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Are you sometimes confused by text or online chat abbreviations? np

January 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

From A3 to ZZZ, this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today’s texting lingo. The guide starts with a top ten.

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The regulation of Internet content – my 100th and last IT column

November 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

For the past 16 years, I have written a regular column on information technology for a trade union representing professional and managerial staff in telecommunications and broadcasting. Now that I am 70 and my portfolio career is coming to an end, I’ve decided to call a halt to this exercise and I have just submitted […]

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Who are the best providers of communications services?

September 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Choosing a communications provider should not be simply a matter of price but also of service quality – but which provider is the best for fixed, mobile or broadband? Fortunately Ofcom provides some very helpful data and I’ve reviewed the latest statistics in my new column on IT matters here. Today, at Ofcom headquarters, I’ll […]

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Why and how we could regulate Internet content

September 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Ofcom has today published a discussion document examining the area of harmful internet content. The document is designed to contribute to the debate on how people might be protected from online harm. It considers how lessons from broadcasting regulation might help to inform work by policymakers to tackle the issue. This follows an interim report […]

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Can we really control the tech giants?

May 21st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Matt Hancock has said that the Government will enact legislation to control social media firms and online abuse but, in a television interview this weekend, he admitted: When he called in representatives of 14 leading Internet companies to discuss his concerns, only four turned up. […]

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Liberal Democrat leader calls for tech giants to be broken up

April 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called for Google, Amazon and Facebook to be broken up, comparing them to US oil monopolies that exploited their market power more than a century ago. In an under-reported speech, Cable said recent scandals including the Facebook Cambridge Analytica revelations meant the tech giants had “progressed from heroes to […]

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The Internet in China

February 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I have just returned from a two-week visit to China – my fourth trip the country. In China, most web sites – including my own and usually the BBC – are usually accessible but over 3,000 sites are blocked including the American tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook – what is often called the Great […]

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What has caused this growing tech-lash?

February 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It seems as if almost every day there is a story expressing concern about some aspect of the Net and attacking the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon. Why is this? “Governments are concerned that they are not paying their fair share of taxes in the countries where they generate the most revenues; regulators are […]

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