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Social media sites need clear laws on free speech: Satya Nadella

"Unilateral action by individual companies in democracies like ours is just not long-term stable -- we do need to be able to have a framework of laws and norms," Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 12, 2021 | Updated 21:49 IST
Social media sites need clear laws on free speech: Satya Nadella
Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella

Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has called for a well-defined framework of laws and norms to govern free speech on social-media services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Nadella said that one-sided decisions by the internet companies regarding free speech will not yield a long-term solution.

"Unilateral action by individual companies in democracies like ours is just not long-term stable -- we do need to be able to have a framework of laws and norms," Nadella said in an interview with Bloomberg.

He added, "Depending on any one individual CEO in any one of these companies to make calls that are going to really help us maintain something as sacred and as important as our democracy, in the long run, is just no way that at least I, as a citizen, would advocate for."

Currently, Microsoft does not offer a social networking platform but had shown interest in acquiring TikTok in the US. The deal didn't materialise. In India, Microsoft has invested in VerSe Innovation, which offers a TikTok-clone Josh.

Nadella said that the younger technology companies should face robust competition and handle negative consequences of growing too big ahead of time, rather than waiting until their size leads to problems for consumers and rivals.

Nadella, apart from the social networking services, also talked about Slack's calls for probe into Microsoft's alleged unfair practice of foisting its Teams software.

Nadella said, "I always ask the question, would Slack have even existed if it was not for the free access they had on top of, say, the Windows platform?"

"They didn't have to call Microsoft. They didn't have to go through any of our app stores. They didn't need any of our permission compared to any of the other platforms that they're available on. We perhaps provide the most open platform in Windows and even in Office 365," he added.

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