EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia explained: ‘Much like the banks, Facebook is too big to fail and we cannot allow a collapse in one side to affect the other.
‘For instance, if the people were to suddenly run out of dead celebrities or sick children they’ve never met to squawk about, where would that leave the average man in the street, who simply wants to look at pictures of the fit girl from Accounts on holiday in Marbella in 2011? We all remember the great crisis of 2007, when a sudden lack of mugged pensioners meant that millions of men were unable to guiltily crack one out to pictures of their sister-in-law wearing a wetsuit in Barbados in 2005. We simply cannot allow this to happen again.’
While some have been critical of the move, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna confirmed Labour’s support for the plans: ‘It’s a very important piece of legislation which we will back fully. It’s all about protecting hard working families, probably, and absolutely nothing to do with us being fed up with people sharing pictures of Ed Milliband failing to eat food like a normal person.’
However the legislation is likely to come up against stiff opposition from the government. A Treasury source commented: ‘This is another classic example of EU meddling. The social media structure is much more diverse than they suggest. After all, where do endless pictures of meals and casual racism fit in?’, before adding, ‘Bloody hell, check out my ex! She must have put on at least two stone since she ran off with that gas fitter last year.’