A NEW publicly owned social media platform should be set up to take on Facebook, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

Giving the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday, the Labour leader proposed funding a new British Digital Corporation through a tax on tech giants like Google.

As well as hosting an expanded iPlayer streaming service, the platform – a sister to the BBC – would also allow viewers to help determine what programmes are made and also create a new social media space to rival Facebook.

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn has to ask Richard Leonard about Scottish Tory deputy

Corbyn said: “A BDC could develop new technology for online decision-making and audience-led commissioning of programmes and even a public social media platform with real privacy and public control over the data that is making Facebook and others so rich.”

Tech firms should also pay into a new independent fund for public interest journalism, he said.

However industry figures were unconvinced. Antony Walker, pictured, deputy chief executive at umbrella body techUK, dismissed the idea of a “tax” payable to fund the scheme, saying: “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that high-quality independent journalism continues to thrive and that digital platforms support a healthy and informed public debate.

“Many tech companies are already working hard to address the misuse of platforms to seed disinformation.

Tech firms are also working with traditional news media organisations to help them transform and develop their business models for the digital age,” he added. “It is good to see Mr Corbyn engaging on these issues, however we need better ideas than just another proposal to tax tech companies.

“The Cairncross Review has been set up explicitly to look into the future of high-quality journalism in the UK.

“Many techUK members are engaged in contributing detailed submissions to this review and we hope that Labour will engage constructively with the process.”

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society Of Editors, said: “In a liberal democracy where freedom of speech is so vital, it’s a delicate balancing trick to make sure the media is given the support it needs to flourish and that means looking at social media giants and that the BBC is funded.

“We would need the media industry in discussion with any future Labour government.”