As social media and mental health deteriorates around the world, the UK parliament has acted and last week passed the new Online Safety Bill to significantly strengthen protection for online child safety as well as give everyone better control over their online activities.
Ofcom, the regulatory body of UK has been granted authority to levy a huge penalty of £18M ($22M) or 10% of their global revenue whichever is bigger to companies that violate the new law. In addition, social media executives can face jail time in some instances.
These are the specific actions social media companies must take to prevent triggering the penalties.
- They must quickly remove identified illegal content and work on preventing them from appearing on the platform.
- These types of content include content that promote self-harm such as how to commit suicide, cutting yourself, or burning yourself.
- Enforcing age limits and have stronger age-checking measures to prevent children accessing age-inappropriate content on their platforms.
- Social media companies must publish risk assessments of their platform.
- Provide everyone an easy way to report problems.
Additionally, this bill also introduced 6 months jail time for sharing intimate pictures or video online without the consent of the person involved.
The law will have global impact since it doesn’t matter where the media is uploaded. As long as the media is viewed in the UK, it is in violation of the law and Ofcom can take punitive measures.
This is by far the strongest legislation in the world so far to try and reign in all the mental health issues caused by social media and technology. Time will tell if this legislation will be enough or even effective. However, at Gryphon, we are empowering families to take back control of their internet safety now - with an easy-to-use smart WiFi router and protection service.
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About Gryphon Online Safety, Inc.
We at Gryphon are dedicated to helping you protect what’s important in your connected home and business. Our cloud managed secure WiFi router gives protects you from malware, phishing, and inappropriate content on the Internet. You will have full visibility and control over your network.
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