The chief executive of Sky has described social media as “corrosive” and has pushed for platforms to change in the face of abuse received by journalists.
Jeremy Darroch (pictured) said abuse directed against Sky News presenter Kay Burley was “really awful” and said the likes of Twitter and Facebook should “accept the costs” of their business and take more responsibility.
His comments come a month after the Government proposed new internet safety laws to be overseen by a regulator in its White Paper on online harms.
Darroch has previously said social media platforms have a “dangerously dark side” and called for them to be regulated.
Speaking to the Media Masters podcast this week, Darroch said: “I think the nature of a lot of… social media connectivity, unfortunately, I think, is things can get very, very negative very quickly.”
He added that on the subject of internet responsibility there needed to be a change among the social media giants, “huge businesses now”, because, he said: “It can become corrosive to the things that glue society together.”
On social media abuse sent to Sky News presenter Kay Burley, Darroch said: “It’s awful. I mean, really, really awful. Not acceptable and I think we need to see the social media giants do more.”
He went on to say that social media firms had been “too slow” to take responsibility in “too many areas”.
Speaking to Press Gazette last year, Burley said she had to have 24-hour security following jihadist death threats and that a small number of incidents caused her to need home security.
She also said: “There are enough people wanting to criticise us [journalists], we shouldn’t turn on each other.”
Research published by Amnesty International and Element AI in December last year found that 1 in 14 tweets directed at female journalists was either abusive or “problematic”.
The organisations had examined more than 1m tweets sent to female journalists and politicians in 2017.
Picture: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters