UK government to crackdown on social media companies

A paper released by the British government highlights growing concerns around online websites and social media networks. Certain parts of this paper were leaked online and make it quite clear that the idea of self-regulation by internet companies is clearly not yielding the right results. The action points highlighted in the proposal are intended to crackdown on these companies who are not able to prevent the flow of harmful content from their platforms.

While talking to CNN, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “I’m deeply concerned that social media firms are still not doing enough to protect users from harmful content. So today, we’re putting a legal duty of care on these companies to keep users safe. And if they fail to do so, tough punishments will be imposed. The era of social media firms regulating themselves is over.”

If internet companies don’t comply with the rules set by the government, they will face substantial fines. The government also plans to even hold the individual board members of these companies accountable. The rules will apply to all the companies that allow users to share or discover user-generated content or interact with each other through the medium of internet.

UK is not the first country to put strict measures on these internet companies. Germany imposed fines of up to $60 million last year on social media companies that don’t delete illegal content. Australian government has also passed a legislation allowing the authorities to charge social media executives if they don’t remove violent content.