Abuse on social media is an all too often occurrence on the web, and neither Facebook or Twitter have found a way to solve the problem, despite their efforts to do so.
Today the Labour MP Anna Turley proposed an idea that might help inspire social media networks to solve this issue, proposing the communications regulator Ofcom should impose fines of up to £2 million any social network that doesn’t adequately prevent threatening content from appearing on their services.
It comes as part of the Malicious Communications Bill (otherwise known as the Social Media Bill), which is currently making its way through the UK parliament, however, if passed it would require social networks to actively filter content on their networks.
The bill also proposes that people over the age of 18 would be able to opt out of any filtering, forcing platforms to verify the ages of their users to do so, and effectively cutting down on abuse, especially abuse against those who are under age.
Ofcom would then be able to fine a network by up to £2 million or 5 percent of their global turnover.
It certainly makes sense as Ofcom currently does similar tasks for communications services around the UK, ensuring that the customer always has a great experience, we don’t see much reason why that shouldn’t include services on the internet.
That said, it is a private member bill, which are historically unlikely to make it into law, but it is from a pretty well-known MP, who often voices her opinions and gets listened to, so it is possible.
The bill will get a second reading in the House of Commons on March 24th, at which point we should know about its future.