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Britain just laid out plans to end the internet's Wild West days and take a world-leading role in regulating big tech

Britain just laid out plans to end the internet's Wild West days and take a world-leading role in regulating big tech
Reuters



Britain wants to end the internet's days as the Wild West by taking a world-leading role in regulating the world's biggest tech companies.




The UK government said it wants to legislate for a new independent regulator that will oversee "harmful content" on social media, search engines, messaging, and file-sharing platforms.




It would be the first time the UK regulates online safety, with the internet conventionally seen as ungovernable.




If these platforms fail to keep hate speech and content relating to sexual abuse, violence, terrorism or self-abuse off their services, they will face huge fines under the proposed new rules.




Industry lobbying bodies representing Facebook, Google, and other big tech firms say the proposed laws are too vague and may harm competition.



The internet's days as the Wild West may be numbered.
The British government has laid out its blueprint for groundbreaking new laws that will regulate social media, search, messaging, and even file-sharing platforms for content that causes "online harm." That's an umbrella term that includes content relating to sexual abuse, violence, hate speech and terrorism, self-harm, and underage sexting.
The proposals, dubbed "world first online safety laws" in an emailed statement, coincide with global pressure on US tech firms to prevent self-harm, terrorist, and hate speech content from appearing on their sites. It also comes at a time when Silicon Valley leaders, like Mark Zuckerberg, are calling for regulation.
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