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Home / World / U.K. unveils sweeping plan to penalize Facebook and Google for online content

U.K. unveils sweeping plan to penalize Facebook and Google for online content




Great Britain must be approved by Parliament. (Kieran Doherty / Reuters)

Failure to stop the spread of harmful content online.

The aggressive, new plan – drafted by the United Kingdom's leading consumer-protection authorities Prime Minister Theresa May – targets a wide array of web content, including child exploitation, false news, terrorist activity and extreme violence. If approved by Parliament, U.K. Watchdogs would gain unprecedented powers to issue fines and other punishments.

Top British officials said they would have to pay "world leading laws to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. "The document says that the law enforcement agencies may or may not be able to take their decisions

Experts said the idea could potentially end in the reach of sites including 8chan, anonymous message board where graphic, violent content often thrives and that played

"The Internet can be brilliant at connecting people across the world – but for too long these companies have not done enough to protect users, especially children and young people , from harmful content, "May said in a statement.

For Silicon Valley, the UK's rules could be the most severe regulatory repercussion the tech industry has faced global for failing to clean up a troubling content online. The sector's continued struggles came to a sudden relief in Christchurch, New Zealand, proliferated online, despite being hit by Facebook, Google and Twitter on more human reviewers – and more powerful tech tools – to stop such posts from going viral.

The March shooting prompted Australia to adopt a content-takedown law of its own, and it has emboldened others throughout Europe to target the tech industry. The wave of global activity stands in stark contrast to the United States, where a decade-old federal law shields social media companies from being held liable for the content posted by their users. U.S. lawmakers have been retelling to regulate online. "

" The Secretary of State for Self-Regulation for Online Companies is Over, "UK Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a Statement Sunday.

19659012] In response, Facebook highlighted its recent investments to remove harmful content, adding the UK's proposal "should protect society from harms while supporting innovation, the digital economy and freedom of speech." Twitter said it would work with

The UK's fresh call for regulation reflects a deepening skepticism of Silicon Valley in response to a range of comments recent controversies, including Facebook's role in the country's 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. British lawmakers have published their political messages.

The revelation sparked a broad inquiry in Parliament, where lawmakers unsuccessfully demanded testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"There is an urgent need for this new regulatory body to be established as soon as possible," said Damian Collins, the Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committees in the House of Commons.

For now, the U.K.'s plan comes in the form of a white paper that will eventually yield new legislation. "Early oversight shared Sunday said that lawmakers set up a new independent regulatory task-to-ensure-companies to take responsibility for the safety of their users." That oversight – either through a new agency or an existing one – would have been funded by tech companies

The agency's mandate would be vast, from policing large social-media platforms search as Facebook to smaller web sites' forums or comment sections. Much of his work would be focused on content that could be harmful to children or pose a risk to national security. But regulators could play a role in scrutinizing a broader array of online harms, the U.K. said, including content "The document offers a litany of potential areas of concern, including hate speech, coercive behavior and underage exposure to illegal content 18.

Many details, such as how it works and how it works, have been hammered out. U.K.

"Despite our repeated calls to action, harmful and illegal content – including child abuse and terrorism – is still too easy to regulate available online, "said Sajid Javid, the UK's home secretary." That's why we are forcing these firms to clean up their act once and for all. "


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