Culture Secretary pledges social media will be regulated in rebuff to Facebook lobbying

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In an interview during his US trip to meet tech chiefs, Mr Wright also confirmed the Government is seriously considering a comprehensive duty of care on social media giants that will require them to take responsibility for what appears on their websites.

Mr Wright, who has a 13-year-old daughter, said he was especially focused on ensuring that technology companies enforce minimum age standards. “We would expect them to do what is reasonable to keep their users safe and that includes ascertaining how old their users are,” he said.

He drew a line between an approach taken in Germany, which requires social media companies to block illegal content within 24 hours, and the Government’s proposals which will be revealed in a White Paper in the coming weeks.

“Different countries are taking different elements of this and pursuing them, but what’s clear is when we look around the world there’s no other country that has a holistic view and a holistic scheme of controlling online harms.”

He said that the advantage of such a requirement was that it would be applicable to future harms that emerge on social media, rather than legislating against particular threats.

“What we expect of online companies is that they keep their users as safe as they reasonably can and that’s against the background of a variety of different threats, as those threats change it is certainly an approach that we are seriously considering,” Mr Wright said.



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