UK Watchdog Looks To Force Social Media Sites To Share Algorithms

Twitter, TikTok and other big social media sites could be forced to disclose the codes behind their feeds in an effort to stop young people from being served news that drives them to extremes, the UK’s media regulator has said. 
Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom chief executive, told the Financial Times that she was becoming ever more worried by evidence suggesting news feeds are aggravating divisions in society, while the algorithms determining what users see receive little public scrutiny. 
 “The more you consume your news from social media, the more likely you are to have more polarised views and find it harder to cope with other people’s views,” said Dawes, referring to research published by the watchdog on Wednesday. 

“That’s a real concern.” Her warning marks the start of Ofcom’s review into its “media plurality” regime and whether it should be expanded to cover the role of tech platforms in hosting news. 

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The body’s recommendations, which could include requesting new powers over social media platforms, are expected in 2024. Such a move would add to what is already one of the broadest remits of any communications watchdog in the world, spanning everything from BBC impartiality, postal services and competition in telecoms to the radio spectrum used by smart keys and doorbells.