The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has proposed an independent regulator that will write a “code of practice” for social networks and internet companies.

The idea of The Online Harms White Paper is based on “making the internet a safer place” and the call that social networks must tackle material that advocates online-harms, self-harm and suicide.  It became a prominent issue after 14-year-old Molly Russell took her own life in 2017 and other stories what you can see in really good movie on Netflix: ‘To the Bone’ with Keanu Reeves.

What are ‘online harms’? There are clearly defined in law:

  • spreading terrorist content
  • child sex abuse
  • so-called revenge pornography
  • hate crimes
  • harassment
  • the sale of illegal goods

And it also covers harmful behaviour that has a less clear legal definition such as:

The proposal suggests:

  • giving the regulator enforcement powers including the ability to fine companies that break the rules; that could be up to 4% of company’s turnover
  • considering additional enforcement powers such as the ability to fine company executives and force internet service providers to block sites that break the rules
  • #SocialMedia companies should produce annual reports revealing how much harmful content has been found on their platforms

On the one hand as Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: tech giants and social media companies had a moral duty “to protect the young people they profit from”. On the other: is it really an appropriate balance between keeping users safe and preserving the open, free nature of the internet?


About the Author:

DOROTA IWANKIEWICZ, FCIM | Senior Strategic/Marketing Professional | External&Internal Branding Specialist | CIPD & CILEx member Dorota combines 20 years of experience and constant development in the range of influencing people as a senior marketing/strategic professional and a managing director conducting manufacturer's projects. As a senior marketing professional: she accompanies DM2 Agency’s clients to achieve their defined goals, using knowledge and rich resources from neuromarketing, behaviourism, psycholinguistics. Dorota is the author of an educational programme about the art of persuasion, protected by the intellectual property law and implemented by the best Polish universities, and she is a co-leader of business workshops cooperating with the top law’s firm from City London. Her portfolio, gathered for many years, represents examples of effective marketing&PR campaigns eg. VISA, Mastercard, GSK, British America Tobacco, Geberit. She was a leader in European transitional programme (cooperation: Poland and UK) focused on training systems in order to develop employability, improving the labour market according to EU programme Europe 2020 growth and jobs strategy. Dorota is future-focused, inquisitive and open-minded; seeks out evolving and innovative ways to add an irresistible value to the clients/organisations. She consistently leads by example, acts with integrity, impartiality and independence, balancing individual, organisation and legal parameters. EXPERTISE: Leadership and Management | Communications strategy | Negotiations | Neuromarketing | Public Relations | Employer Branding | Employment Law | Psycholinguistics

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