UK regulator calls for video platforms do extra to guard customers

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LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Online video sharing platforms (VSPs), corresponding to TikTok, Snapchat and OnlyFans, want to supply clear guidelines on content material, enable customers to flag dangerous movies, and limit entry to pornographic materials, Britain’s media regulator Ofcom stated.

Under legal guidelines that got here into impact in Britain final 12 months, VSPs should take applicable steps to guard all of their customers from unlawful materials, with a selected deal with below 18s.

Ofcom, which is accountable for imposing the foundations, revealed steering for VSPs on Wednesday, saying it wished to see noticeable enhancements over time in security processes and criticism procedures.

Chief Executive Melanie Dawes stated on-line video performed an enormous function in folks’s lives, significantly for kids, however many customers noticed hateful, violent or inappropriate materials whereas utilizing them.

“The platforms where these videos are shared now have a legal duty to take steps to protect their users,” she stated.

“So we’re stepping up our oversight of these tech companies, while also gearing up for the task of tackling a much wider range of online harms in the future.”

Ofcom stated its analysis confirmed {that a} third of customers stated they’d witnessed or skilled hateful content material; 1 / 4 claimed they’d been uncovered to violent or disturbing content material; whereas one in 5 had seen content material that inspired racism.

The regulator’s remit covers platforms established in Britain, numbering 18 initially. Platforms established in different nations, corresponding to YouTube and Facebook, are excluded.

If it finds a VSP had did not take applicable measures to guard customers, it will likely be capable of examine and take motion, together with fines or – in essentially the most severe circumstances – suspending or limiting the service.

Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Nick Zieminski

Pedestrians look at their mobile phones in central London, Britain September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

A man holding a phone walks past a sign of Chinese company ByteDance's app TikTok, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 18, 2019. Picture taken October 18, 2019.  REUTERS/Stringer  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT./File Photo

The Snapchat messaging application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017.   REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo