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R.I.P. Scout26

Author Topic: UK looks to be moving forward on Social Media Regulation  (Read 170 times)


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UK looks to be moving forward on Social Media Regulation
« on: November 02, 2021, 10:28:42 AM »

I saw this on one of my various feeds today:

It's an opinion article, so take it with a grain of salt.  The author is clearly in the "Don't allow people to think badthought" camp of politics, but it looks like the UK is moving forward on trying to regulate social media the same way they do radio and TV for "harmful content". 

In essence, social media companies will be required to carry out regular risk assessments on the nature of harmful content on their platforms, and to take action on those harms as well as on any prevalent illegal content. Communications regulator Ofcom will assess the companies on those outcomes. If they don’t comply, the companies face multibillion-dollar fines, and potentially criminal charges for executives.

In other words, social media companies will have to provide much of the kind of information that Haugen leaked: internal research. That could, for instance, be data showing that women in certain parts of the U.K. are more liable to read Covid misinformation, or that certain teens are “hyper-exposed” to self-harming content. Ofcom would then tell the social media firm to tweak its algorithms to change those statistics, or be punished. 

As always on this kind of thing a lot depends on who gets to decide what is "harmful".  I bring this up here because the thought occurred to me that if the UK and EU (who are looking at something similar) gois e mgt end up with regulated social media here by default.  Much the same way CA *expletive deleted*ed up everyone's gas cans, or the whole world gets cookie popups due to the EU.  If criminal charges or billions in fines are on the table, I can see execs just making the whole internet a NERF'ed safe zone.