UK government prepared to charge social media platforms for content moderation failures

The UK conservative party have secured a joint statement from the G7, calling for social media firms to do more to combat online extremism. The party h...

Chloe Lewis
|May 30|magazine3 min read

The UK conservative party have secured a joint statement from the G7, calling for social media firms to do more to combat online extremism.

The party have said they are open to bringing in financial penalties to encourage more action from tech companies in regards to problem content.

Security minister Ben Wallace appeared on BBC Radio 4, saying how Facebook’s moderation guidelines, which includes ‘it’s okay to publish abuse of under-seven-year-old children from bullying as long as it doesn’t have captions alongside’ are totally unacceptable.

Although Facebook have declined to comment, it has previously said it intends to make it simpler for users to report content problems.

There is also a lot of concern about social media platforms being used to spread hate speech and extremist propaganda. Earlier this year, the German cabinet backed the decision to fine social media platforms up to €50 million if they fail to remove illegal hate speech. It seems likely that a conservative government would do something similar.

A UK parliamentary committee report published earlier this month also suggests that the government should consider imposing fines for content moderation failures.

Speaking at the counterterrorism session at the G7 on Friday, the UK’s PM Theresa May said: “We agreed a range of steps the G7 could take to strengthen its work with tech companies on this vital agenda. We want companies to develop tools to identify and remove harmful materials automatically.”