The internet is a wondrous tool. It has transformed the way we live and put the knowledge of human existence at the tips of our fingers. Well, that’s one way of looking at it. If you go to the wrong places or look for it, the internet is also a cesspool of human misery and darkness. Any cursory wander through Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter will let you see awful comments and hate speech.
Online abuse is so common that many take it as a given. While most of us can deal with this, others cannot and online bully is a bona fide issue that needs to be addressed. Relying on users to police and control themselves… online self-control is not a thing. So, authorities in the UK says they will prosecute companies if they do not tackle hateful online content.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) is seeking to put blame onto companies like Facebook and Twitter. If those changes are made, companies will be prosecuted if they do not tackle extremist, racist, or offensive content that should not be viewed by children.
CSPL will release a report today detailing its recommendations for putting blame onto companies. The UK government has driven the initiative as its frustrations grew over companies not properly dealing with offensive content.
Prime Minister Theresa May has been a vocal critic of online content mismanagement. She has agreed to new legislation that requires companies to remove extremist content from social media. This new rule mandates the companies must remove the companies within two hours.
YouTube has already worked under this mandate, recently removing several videos related to terrorist propaganda.
Less than Impressed
Lord Paul Bew, the Chair of the CSPL said the group has been “less than hugely impressed” by current measures offered by companies like Facebook and Twitter.
“Many contributors to our review accept that you need a thick skin in public life; it goes with the territory. But our evidence also shows that some of what has been happening in recent years is something very different,” he adds.