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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : May 31, 2017

UK may join Germany imposing fines for social media moderation failings

Pressure is increasing on social media channels to address the issue of online extremism and other unacceptable content with the news that the UK government is floating the idea of issuing fines.

by Helen Leggatt

Amid news that Facebook has hired more moderators to police content on the social network, and that development of artificial intelligence that will detect harmful content is underway, European governments are backing a hardline approach to moderation failings.

Last month, the German government announced proposals to impose fines of up to 50m Euros against social media firms that fail to remove, within 24 hours, content flagged as hate speech.

In the UK, a highly critical House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report, released earlier this month, did not mince words saying "it is very clear to us from the evidence we have received that nowhere near enough is being done".

The report upholds that the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are "shamefully far from taking sufficient action to tackle illegal and dangerous content, to implement proper community standards or to keep their users safe. Given their immense size, resources and global reach, it is completely irresponsible of them to fail to abide by the law, and to keep their users and others safe".

UK security minister, Ben Wallace, called the leaked copy of Facebook's moderation guidelines "totally unacceptable" and the Government has vowed to take a hardline approach to the problem, floating the idea of imposing fines for failed moderation.

Tags: content, Internet, moderation, social media, trends

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