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Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

Tech firms to face fines from UK government over harmful content

The tough new stance is designed to force social media firms to become accountable for the material they host / Facebook

Tightened laws against online harm in the UK look set to usher in a new era of punitive fines levied against tech firms which fail to stop the spread of terror and child exploitation related material.

The tough new stance is designed to force social media firms to become accountable for the material they host, ultimately creating a ‘safer space’ for brands to operate in.

In order to avoid falling foul of any penalties, social media firms must takedown malign content within a ‘short pre-determined timeframe’, with company directors potentially being held personally accountable for any failures to comply.

Should these sanctions also fail to have the desired effect the government would reserve the right to ban any companies responsible from operating in the UK as the ultimate sanction.

The new measures are outlined in the UK government’s online harm white paper, scheduled to be published in full later today.

Government action has been precipitated by a series of atrocities and scandals including the live-streaming of a terrorist attack in Christchurch which was carried by Facebook. This followed hot on the heels of separate concerns over child safety at Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

The World Federation of Advertisers recently called on the public to apply greater pressure on tech giants to up their game with regard to sensitive content.

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