BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Safe internet could be a global gold standard if European draft laws that require technology companies to do more to tackle illegal online content are strengthened, Facebook spokesman Francis Hawgen told EU lawmakers on Monday.

Hawgen, a former Facebook employee who worked as a product manager for a civic misinformation group, has accused the social media giant of profiteering. By suppressing hate speech and misinformation.

Her testimony to the European Parliament Committee came after she was stationed in London, Lisbon and Berlin, as EU lawmakers debated the strengthening of the Digital Services Act (DSA) by EU anti-terrorism chief Margaret Vestager.

“The current digital services law before this parliament has the potential to become an international gold standard,” Hawgen said.

“It may inspire other countries, including mine, to adopt new laws that protect our democracy, but the law must be strong and enforceable. Otherwise, we will lose this opportunity once a generation to achieve the future of technology and democracy,” she told EU lawmakers.

The DSA should be expanded to include online content that violates the terms and conditions of the forum, and should force the forums to take responsibility for disasters rather than the spread of illegal content such as election fraud and mental health harm, Hawgen said.

Hawgen said news media content should not be excluded from the rules because fake information campaigns can still play the system using digital platforms used by publishers.

In a blog post before the European Court of Justice, Facebook denied Hawgen’s allegations that it prioritizes profit over user safety.

Content Policy Vice President Monica Beckert wrote on the blog: “Contrary to recent claims about our company, we have always received business incentives to remove harmful content from the platform.

She said Facebook would spend more than $ 5 billion this year on safety and security.

The European Union (EU) chief executive, Thierry Breton, who met with Hawgen on Monday, criticized technology companies for their efforts on the draft rules and urged lawmakers to fight DSA’s scope.

“Speed ​​is everything. We need a valid DSA / DMA package in the first half of 2022,” he said after the meeting.

The DMA, or Digital Markets Act, is another EU landmark law that regulates what to do and what not to do for international technology companies.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Edited by David Clark