YouTube, Facebook and Instagram at the Verge of Getting Heavily Fined for not Taking Down Harmful Content!

The Government of UK is all set to hand temporary powers to the digital regulator Ofcom. With the help of these new powers, Ofcom will be eligible to fine Tech Giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram if they fail to proactively monitor and take down content that isn’t suitable for children.

If everything goes smoothly, the powers given to OfCom will go into effect on September 19, 2020. As mentioned earlier, these powers will only be temporary and remain with Ofcom until the responsibility could be shifted on the shoulders of an online harms regulator.

The Telegraph states that Ofcom will be able to use the assigned powers to fine companies that do not include parental controls or age checks that can help children in staying away from harmful content that can adversely affect them physically, mentally as well as morally.

The new measures were appreciated by NSPCC (children’s safety charity) and Ofcom. Andy Burrows, the head of child safety online policy at NSPCC said that children who livestream are at the verge of being targeted by abusers as their footage can be captured and used for blackmailing purposes.

Burrows also said that the directive gives UK an opportunity to roll out strict measures on tech firms that have their European Headquarters in the country. He added that it’s time to introduce legislative protections ahead of the upcoming Online Harms Bill and finally bring the sites into the limelight and question them if they don’t take children’s online safety seriously.

Ofcom considers the rules to be an important first step in the right direction, when it comes to monitoring video-sharing online and said that it would work in close association with the government to implement the safeguards. It is also in favor of wider legislation to present more protections such as a measure that will make it necessary for companies to pay attention to the fact that they have a “duty of care” towards their users.

Photo: Florian Gaertner/Getty Images

Source: BBC News.
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