Social media sites face tax on online abuse

The proposals for new regulations follow months of complaints about the abuse of social media platforms and dangers for children.

Social media sites face being made to pay for action to tackle online bullying, the Culture Secretary has announced.

In its manifesto, the party said the charter would "put a responsibility on industry not to direct users - even unintentionally - to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm".

The strategy proposes a code of practice for social media companies which would create "a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content".

The leading minister, Karen Bradley MP, said: "The Internet has been an amazing force for good, but it has caused undeniable suffering and can be an especially harmful place for children and vulnerable people."

She later told Sky News: "If it's required and we have to legislate to make this happen, then of course that's what we'll do. But I would like to work with the internet companies so that we can do this on a voluntary basis.

It also sees through a manifesto Digital Charter pledge to create a new tax on social media companies to fund programmes raising awareness and countering "internet harms".

The strategy also suggests a greater role for the education system in helping children use services online in a safe manner.

Two new subjects would be introduced in schools, Relationship Education at primary, and Relationship and Sex Education at secondary, to provide online safety education.

In the manifesto, the party said it would also introduce a sanctions regime for companies that fail to meet their legal duties in regards to content that is deemed in breach of law.

The proposed strategy is out for consultation until Thursday 7 December, and the Government said it expects to provide a response in early 2018.

 

October 12, 2017

Sources:` Sky News

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