Social media and video services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok risk high fines in the UK if they do not properly prevent the spread of harmful content. This is laid down in rules to be laid down in the law in 2021.
Companies may be fined £18 million or up to 10 percent of their turnover in the event of infringements, whichever is higher.
For example, the British government wants images of child abuse and terrorism removed, but also to protect children from grooming, online bullying and porn.
“We are entering a new era in which tech companies are given responsibility to protect children and vulnerable users,” said Oliver Dowden, the UK Minister for Digital Affairs.
“These measures will ensure the strictest and most comprehensive online security regime, and will have a clear direct effect,” is Dowden’s conviction.
Social media should also clearly define their policy on material that is not illegal but can cause damage, such as incorrect information on COVID-19.
Monitoring of the rules will be the responsibility of the UK media watchdog Ofcom, which can impose fines and black out social media in the UK on infringements.