U.K. ‘Celebrates’ Its New Freedom From the E.U. by Pushing Massive Online Censorship Orders

Source: reason.com --- Thursday, February 13, 2020
A new policy will require online platforms to eliminate content the U.K. government decides is harmful, or face massive fines and possibly even criminal sanctions. Lest anybody think Brexit was truly about freeing the United Kingdom from burdensome European regulations, this week the government announced that it was putting its Office of Communications (known as Ofcom) in charge of developing a massive regulatory framework to require further online moderation of content and communications online. The United Kingdom wants to force online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and others to have a "duty of care" for their users' safety, a legal term that obligates the companies to protect its users from certain harms. Ofcom and the U.K. government are selling this new regulatory regime as a way to both protect children from sex trafficking and abuse and stop terrorist organizations from recruiting online. But what they're actually proposing is a much broader plan to shape social media communications to their liking . The new policy would also force platforms to tackle online "bullying," prevent their users from encouraging suicide, and prevent the spread of what the U.K. government deems "disinformation." The Online Harms White Paper released last summer is being used as a framework. Here's what it suggests: Companies must fulfill their new legal duties. The regulator will set out how to do this in codes of practice. The codes will out ...

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