Social media platforms that fail to protect children from harm online face being fined or shut down under important new laws unveiled by the UK Government.
Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, issued a warning to tech companies saying that they will have “no excuses” and “must face the consequences” if they fail to remove illegal and harmful content under draft duty of care legislation.
The proposed law, the first of its kind globally, is designed to make Britain the safest country in the world online and protect children from online harms. Mr Dowden said the tech giants would not just incur massive fines of up to £13 billion for breaches of the duty of care laws but could also have their websites blocked to UK users, with the toughest measures aimed at protecting children.
Social media giants would no longer be allowed to let under-aged children on to their sites with “no further questions asked” and would face serious sanctions for failing to enforce minimum age limits.
Furthermore, Mr Dowden pledged that the Bill would finally turn the tide on racist, misogynistic and anti-semitic abuse online, with similar duties of care required.
“Enough is enough. We’re all sick to death of the bile and the threats,” he said. “If it’s illegal, platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to flag and remove online abuse quickly and effectively or face the consequences. The same goes if it breaches their terms and conditions. No more excuses.”