Instagram, YouTube and Facebook could be fined millions over harmful content

CNET | 8/12/2019 | Katie Collins
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The UK is taking action against toxic online content.

Instagram, Facebook and YouTube could face huge fines for failing to remove toxic online videos as part of a crackdown by the UK government on harmful social media content. The government said on Monday that under new rules due to be introduced next year, tech companies would have to pay up to 5% of their revenue or even face restriction or suspension of services if they fail to remove content.

Government - Telecoms - Regulator - Ofcom - Media

The government will appoint telecoms and broadcasting regulator Ofcom to ensure that social media platforms are preventing the spread of content that includes or promotes violence, child abuse or pornography. The watchdog will take charge of policing social media from Sept. 19, 2020, as an interim measure, ahead of a "super-regulator" being appointed to govern harmful content on the internet.

"These new rules are an important first step in regulating video-sharing online, and we'll work closely with the Government to implement them," said an Ofcom spokesman in a statement. "We also support plans to go further and legislate for a wider set of protections, including a duty of care for online companies towards their users."

Online - Content - Internet - Growth - Media

Harmful online content has been around as long as the internet itself, but the growth of social media has increasingly raised questions about whether online platforms are doing enough to tackle the problem. In the UK, the conversation picked up pace following the 2017 suicide of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who had been using Instagram to view self-harm imagery.

In April of...
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