UK will make Facebook responsible for harmful content as Ofcom is set to have more powers

UK will make Facebook responsible for harmful content as Ofcom is set to have more powers
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  • calendar-gray 12 February 2020

Britain’s media watchdog Ofcom will have more power in regulating social media companies in the UK, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Snapchat, and will make them accountable for harmful content, according to Digital Secretary Baroness Nicky Morgan, APA reports citing Sputnik.

Social media companies have long defended their rights to control unacceptable content on their platforms related to violence, terrorism or child abuse, but according to reports, this is now going to change in the UK.

"There are many platforms who ideally would not have wanted regulation, but I think that's changing”, Nicky Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Cotes, was quoted as saying. “I think they understand now that actually regulation is coming”.

The information has not been confirmed by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport but it was reported that on Wednesday the government will present a draft of the new legislation related to online harm and will announce Ofcom’s new powers. So far, the authority has only been entitled to regulate British media, not social media platforms or internet safety. The news could cause some concerns among the public about potential censorship over online content.

Facebook has long been criticised for failing to take responsibility for content on its platform, including its refusal to remove political ads that may contain misinformation, citing its monitoring, rather than regulatory role.

 

Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook’s CEO, has maintained that the company was still accountable for removing harmful content related to child exploitation, terrorism, or violence from the its platform. However, in relation to political ads, he cited the policy of free speech and insisted that social media users were still able to make up their own minds about the political agenda.

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