It is reported that the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which advises the Prime Minister on ethical standards, will recommend new legislation to hold social media platforms liable for abusive content, shifting responsibility from the users to the companies themselves. The overhaul was called for after an inquiry into the way that MPs were treated on social media platforms during the last general election.
The potential legislation is to enable media platforms to be fined (allegedly as much as £20 million) or prosecuted if they fail to take adequate steps to ensure the removal of racist, extremist or paedophilic content. This would mean that firms such as Facebook and Twitter would no longer simply be regarded as communication platforms but instead treated as publishers and as such be seen to have control over the content. Any proposals are said to be likely to include reference to the timeframe within which the companies should remove any offending posts.