The policy paper of a competent department would end the ’Wild West’ period of the internet in the United Kingdom. If the blueprint of the ’World’s first online safety saws’ is implemented, the UK would take the lead from Germany in regulating the internet and the largest tech companies in it.
It’s not just Brexit that is going on in Britain in these days. The white paper of UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued a white paper that calls for a new, independent regulatory body for the internet.
This public body would be entitled to impose fines on platforms. Legal persons and individuals who fail to keep hate speech, content relating to violence and abuses out from their sites and pages are liable to pay. If the legislation sanctions the proposal as law, it will regulate social media, search, sharing and messaging alike.
The proposals cover not just the network providers of social media, like Germany’s Network Enforcement Act. It forces and demands all companies to work out codes and practices of their own to keep the users safe and to minimise or deal with illegal or harmful content.
The need for a stricter regulation of the internet and especially social media has gained more attention since the terror attack in Christchurch, New-Zealand, on the 15th of March. The perpetrator used Facebook’s Live function to stream his shooting for his followers.
The various forms of to-be-sanctioned online behaviour include self-abuse and images of self-harm. Instagram banned the posting of such images two months ago. The suicide of Molly Russell also highlighted the dangers of bullying and social media in the UK.
While the major tech companies are asking for more specifics and a more concrete proposal. Representatives of startups warn that smaller companies may not have the money that Facebook or Google has for establishing ’net safety’ on their own pages or sites. Such law would favor the tech giants in the long run.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had proposed a ’common global framework of regulation’ just a week ago, in other words, a single set of rules on all online content.