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Child protection agency calls for social media regulation

A survey commissioned by the NSPCC, a UK child protection charity, reveals that 9 out of 10 parents support the regulation of social networks to make them legally responsible for protecting children, and 6 out of 10 adults do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming and inappropriate content like self-harm and suicide. These figures are part of the NSPCC’s Taming the Wild West Web report, “which sets out how a robust regulator should enforce a legal duty of care to children on social networks”. The regulator would have legal powers to demand information from technology firms about their child safety measures; require social networks to meet a set of minimum safeguarding standards and proactively tackle online harms; and deploy tough sanctions for failures to protect children online, including steep fines up to £20 million and a new criminal offence for gross breaches. The NSPCC says it “is clear that after a decade of inaction, it’s time to introduce statutory regulation on social networks. Further self-regulation is a wholly inappropriate response to the unmanaged risks to which children are currently exposed. And it would mean the same sites that have comprehensively failed to protect children to date, through their failure to proactively tackle grooming, take down inappropriate content or do enough to tackle child sexual abuse imagery at source, would remain able to decide for themselves whether and how they protect their child users.” See more

  • Tuesday, 19 February 2019

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