Media regulator, Ofcom has been given extra powers to overlook social media platforms in the UK.
In a first for online regulation, Ofcom will independently keep a closer watch on Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter. Up until now, the named sites have been responsible for their own content.
It is said that the new legislation will put a legal “duty of care” on social media companies to protect users from illegal and/or harmful material.
The announcement was made by Nicky Morgan, UK minister for digital, culture, media and sport, and home secretary Priti Patel.
In a foreword, the ministers said, “We will not prevent adults from accessing or posting legal content, nor require companies to remove specific pieces of legal content.”
Morgan added, “There are many platforms who ideally would not have wanted regulation, but I think that’s changing. I think they understand now that actually regulation is coming.”