Tech firms face large fines over harmful videos

Tech firms face large fines over harmful videos
Video sharing apps and platforms may soon face very large fines if it is determined they fail to prevent vulnerable people from accessing harmful content.

Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator, may soon have the power to fine tech companies millions of pounds if it determines the firms are failing to tackle harmful videos. Such videos could include adult-oriented content that is unsuitable for younger people, or videos depicting serious violence.

Such new fines are under consideration as part of the UK's adoption of the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), but the UK may not have to comply with the directive at all as it is set to exit the EU on October 31.

"If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, we will not be bound to transpose the AVMSD into UK law," a spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, confirmed to the BBC.

Regardless, it was reportedly agreed before the summer break that Ofcom should be able to find firms up to 5 percent of its revenues or even outright block them in the country if they don't comply with certain rulings. Ofcom is keen on getting such strong regulatory powers.

"These new rules are an important first step in regulating video-sharing online, and we'll work closely with the government to implement them," a spokesman said. "We also support plans to go further and legislate for a wider set of protections, including a duty of care for online companies towards their users."

Written by: James Delahunty @ 12 Aug 2019 18:35
UK Ofcom
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