KEEP CALM AND FINE ON
The United Kingdom’s Office of Communications will be empowered to levy fines against social media companies that do not take steps to remove harmful content from their platforms.
An announcement Wednesday from the Digital and Home secretaries stated that the agency will be granted the power to “hold companies to account if they do not tackle internet harms such as child sexual exploitation and abuse and terrorism.”
“Platforms will need to ensure that illegal content is removed quickly and minimize the risk of it appearing, with particularly robust action on terrorist content and online child sexual abuse,” read the announcement.
The content regulations hinge not on content that is banned under U.K. law, according to the announcement, but rather on forcing companies to strictly follow their own stated guidelines for content moderation.
“To protect freedom of expression, the regulations will not stop adults from accessing or posting legal content that some may find offensive. Instead, companies will be required to explicitly state what content and behavior is acceptable on their sites in clear and accessible terms and conditions and enforce these effectively, consistently and transparently,” the statement reads.