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Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Social media giants face big fines and blocked sites under new UK rules on harmful content
The logos of Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok displayed on a computer screen.
Denis Charlet | AFP via Getty Images
LONDON — British regulators could soon have the power to fine and block the sites of social media giants likeFacebook, TikTok andTwitterfor failing to remove harmful content under new legislation.
Unveiled Tuesday, the proposals are part of the U.K. government’s bid to force tech giants to rid their platforms of illegal and toxic content. Executives could be held personally liable for failing to respect a legally-binding duty of care. It comes as authorities around the world clamp down on Big Tech.
Social media services that host user-generated content or allow people to talk to others online will be required to remove and limit the spread of content that contains child sexual abuse, terrorist material or suicide, according to the government. They will also need to do more to ensure children aren’t exposed to grooming, bullying or pornography.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and other popular social networks will be required to establish clear terms and conditions which set out how they tackle content that is legal but could cause significant physical or psychological harm to adults, such as misinformation about coronavirus vaccines.
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