The UK’s media watchdog, Ofcom, said that new regulations might be required as it has concerns regarding the role of US technology giants such as Apple Inc., Google, and Facebook in controlling what type of news stories people see and how they react to them.
Following a recent study of how news is consumed, Ofcom grew concerns around the impact of social media companies, including news apps and search engines acting as online news gatekeepers.
Meta owned Facebook and several news apps such as Google News and Apple News dominate the news market in the country, while search engines are more dominated by Google, along with Bing from Microsoft Corporation in a distant second.
According to a report published by Ofcom, as part of its latest investigation into whether there are enough providers of media, including TV, radio, and online news services. Ofcom’s study has examined the impact of the growth of online news, and the intermediaries such as search engines, social media, and news apps that are used by two out of every three adults online for news.
As people value search engines for helping them find more about news apps and news stories for alerting them to the breaking news, the research found that people are unaware of the choices made by social media, news, and search apps on behalf of the tech companies.
New regulations might also include new tools to require technology companies to be more transparent over the choices made by the companies in determining the news people see online, and giving users more choice and control, says Ofcom.