Today, the UK government is bringing Online Safety Bill to Parliament to make tech companies more accountable for removing from their platforms illegal content that promotes terrorism or violence, pornography, online harassment and sexual assault.
Failure to meet the requirements can result in social networks being fined or banned up to 10% of their global income, and their leaders can be held liable for violations with up to two years in prison.
Under the law, the UK’s independent regulator of telecoms, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), will have the right to collect information from companies. He is responsible for investigating the algorithms and systems in large tech companies that can spread malicious content across the internet.
Corporate executives will also be prosecuted for destroying evidence, failing to report a violation to Ofcom’s investigation, providing false information or otherwise obstructing regulatory reviews.
The invoice also includes:
- Requiring proof of age on all sites hosting pornography.
- Measures against anonymous trolling, insults and unwanted contacts in social networks.
- Criminalization of so-called cyberflashing (sending obscene pictures).
- Requiring companies to report child sexual abuse content to the UK’s National Crime Agency.
- The right of users to contact the Platforms if they feel their posts have been unfairly removed.
According to the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, news content and the press are exempt from regulation. The largest platforms and their applications are classified in “Category 1” and must also restrict legal but harmful content, the characteristics of which the legislator will announce later.
Once the bill has been submitted to lawmakers, it will take several months to be further refined and voted on before it receives the Queen of Great Britain’s approval and thereafter becomes law.