Briefing

U.K. communications regulator to compel social media firms to act on unacceptable content

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Thanks to new powers granted by the Johnson government, the Office of Communications will have the power to hold tech firms responsible for what appears on their platforms—and to potentially sanction those that don’t promptly remove it. (BBC)

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Talking point: The role of internet watchdog is a new one for the regulator, which has long policed British media and telecoms. It comes amid widespread calls for such regulation following the suicide of 14-year-old Molly Russell in 2017, who was found to have accessed disturbing content about depression and self-harm on Instagram. Some social media companies have warned of the potential pratfalls of such censorship, though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called for “a more active role for governments and regulators.”