UK Proposes New Plan to Crack Down on Harmful Internet Content

The proposed laws would force Big Tech to be much more active in policing their properties.

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The internet could finally become a little safer, thanks to the U.K.

The U.K. government just unveiled a new plan for regulations that would force tech companies to assume legal responsibility for any harmful or illegal content, reported Axios. This would mean tech giants could face major fines for failing to address terrorist videos, child sexual exploitation and hate speech that appears on their properties.

The rules would apply to most of the internet’s big name sites including social media platforms like Facebook and search engines like Google, which could face heavy fines for not removing harmful content from their pages.

The proposed plan would also require companies to make it easier for users to file complaints. Meanwhile, sites would also have to submit mandatory annual transparency reports, which, Axios added, many already do.

Ideally, the new plan, if passed, would set an international standard for policing internet content. Many countries world-wide have been grappling with a failure to properly address and enforce internet content standards, and the U.K.’s lead could set a precedent for other countries.

But it’s possible that some global tech companies would simply erase their U.K. presence rather than comply with rules that may be considered too far-reaching.

The proposal now faces a 12-week consultation, beginning Monday, that will be followed by final proposals for legislation.

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