The Huge Tech industries such as Google and Facebook may have to pay for measures to tackle Levy combat cyber bullying, according to a UK government internet safety strategy published today.
The new proposals, part of a wider strategy to help the UK become the safest place in the world to be online, also include measures to crack down on trolling and under-age access to pornography.
In a statement, she 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. Behaviour that is unacceptable in real life is unacceptable on a computer screen. We need an approach to the internet that protects everyone without restricting growth and innovation in the digital economy.
The government’s Internet Safety Strategy Levy combat proposes :
- An annual internet safety transparency report to show progress on addressing abusive and harmful content and conduct
- A new social media code of practice to see a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content
- An industry-wide levy so social media companies and communication service providers contribute to raise awareness and counter internet harms
- And support for tech and digital startups to think safety first – ensuring that necessary safety features are built into apps and products from the very start
“Our ideas are ambitious – and rightly so. Collaboratively, government, industry, parents and communities can keep citizens safe online, but only by working together.”
effort from the government, educational establishments, social media and technology companies as well as from those at home to safeguard children online,” she said.
The news comes as the chairman of the Ofcom said that the likes of Google and Facebook should be treated as publishers, and could therefore face regulation.
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Ofcom chair Dame Patricia Hodgson told MPs at a hearing of the digital, culture, media and sport committee that Facebook and similar sites were “not within Ofcom’s responsibility but we feel very strongly about the integrity of news in this country and we are totally supportive of steps that should and need to be taken to improve matters”, the Guardian reported her as saying.
A government spokesman told Reuters that the government was “looking at the role Google and Facebook play in the news environment”.
“As part of that work we will look carefully at the roles, responsibility and legal status of the major internet platforms,” he added.
While the sum and nature of the levy was not outlined, it would be used to raise awareness of internet abuse and online dangers, and to counter them.
Another proposal is for a transparency report that would show how much content is reported to social media sites and how much is taken down, as well as how user complaints are handled.