London — Tech firms such as Facebook should be made liable for "harmful and misleading" material on their websites and pay a levy so that they can be regulated, British legislators said, warning of a crisis in democracy due to misuse of personal data. Facebook has increasingly become a focus of the media committee’s inquiry into "fake news" after the data of 87-million users was improperly accessed by consultancy Cambridge Analytica. The cost of higher privacy standards will hit Facebook’s profit margins for several years, the company said on Wednesday, wiping more than $120bn off its share price, and the company is coming under concerted regulatory scrutiny. "Companies like Facebook made it easy for developers to scrape user data and to deploy it in other campaigns without their knowledge or consent," Damian Collins, chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, said. "They must be made responsible, and liable, for the way in which harmful and misleading content is s...

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