UK to Make Social Media Platforms Responsible for Harmful Content: Report

Britain proposed new online safety laws last year that it said would be the toughest in the world.

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UK to Make Social Media Platforms Responsible for Harmful Content: Report

Social media platforms will have to remove illegal content quickly

Highlights
  • Ofcom will make social media companies responsible for harmful content
  • Britain proposed new online safety laws last year
  • Governments globally are wrestling over how to control social media

Britain's regulator Ofcom will make social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter responsible for harmful content on their platforms, the BBC said on Wednesday. The broadcaster quoted Nicky Morgan, Britain's outgoing digital minister, saying that platforms had resisted regulation previously but "they understand now that actually regulation is coming".

Britain proposed new online safety laws last year that it said would be the toughest in the world.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said at the time she would put a legal "duty of care on Internet companies to keep users safe online". Companies would face big fines, with bosses also held personally accountable, the government said.

Governments globally are wrestling over how to better control content on social media platforms, often blamed for encouraging abuse, the spread of online pornography and for influencing or manipulating voters.

Under the proposals to be announced on Wednesday, social media platforms will have to remove illegal content quickly and minimise the risk of it appearing at all, the BBC said.

A spokeswoman for the ministry refused to confirm the details or provide any comments by the minister.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Further reading: Britain, Ofcom, Facebook, Twitter
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