British authorities want to hold social media executives personally liable for harmful content circulated on their platforms, a new policy paper released on Monday on the UK government's website says, ONA reports.
The newly-published "Online Harms White Paper" sets out guidelines to tackle the spread of violent content, suicide encouragement, disinformation, and cyber bullying as well as requirements for companies to take action to prevent terrorist content, child sexual exploitation and abusive content. The regulations also call for an independent regulator to be set up to enforce the rules.
“Online companies must start taking responsibility for their platforms, and help restore public trust in this technology,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.
The measures are expected to apply to social media, file hosting sites, chat forums, messaging services and search engines.
Companies stand to face tough punishments under the proposed policies if they do not comply. “We are consulting on powers to issue substantial fines, block access to sites and potentially to impose liability on individual members of senior management,” the government said in its statement.