Proposed UK Law New will Fine Social Media Firms up to £18mn for Illegal Content

The UK government has announced its proposed internet regulation, the Online Harms Bill which could impose a fine £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover for media firms who fail to remove harmful content on their platforms.

The UK government has announced its proposed internet regulation, the Online Harms Bill which could impose a fine of £18 million or ten percent of annual global turnover for media firms who fail to remove harmful content on their platforms. 

The UK government said that it plans on implementing the bill next year after its consultation started last in April 2019,

The bill contains guidelines on the removal of illegal content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material, and media that promotes suicide and mandates platforms to abide by a new code of conduct that focuses on the welfare of children. 

“Tech platforms will need to do far more to protect children from being exposed to harmful content or activity such as grooming, bullying, and pornography. This will help make sure future generations enjoy the full benefits of the internet with better protections in place to reduce the risk of harm,” said the government.

Ofcom, which is the regulator by the bill, will have the power to levy unprecedented fines of up to £18m or 10% of global turnover and have the authority to block services from the UK entirely.

The legislation does not just cover social media platforms like Facebook but also other internet services such as dating apps and search engines to online marketplaces, video sharing platforms, and instant messaging tools, as well as consumer cloud storage and even video games that allow relevant user interaction.

Online journalism from news websites however will be exempt, as will reader comments on such sites but there are plans to make sure news is still protected when it is reshared on social media.


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