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Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Set to Face Heavy Fines in UK for Harmful Content

Earlier this year, Facebook also received heavy backlash after video of the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosque in New Zealand was live-streamed

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Social networking giants Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are set to face heavy fines in Britain for failing to filter out harmful content on their platforms, the media reported.

As part of the government’s plan, Britain’s broadcasting watchdog Ofcom would be given new legal powers to monitor, investigate and fine social platforms for sharing or live-streaming “harmful” videos, including pornography, violence and child abuse, the Telegraph reported on Sunday.

With the new powers, the broadcast watchdog of the UK would be able to issue fines of 250,000 pounds (around $300,000) or an amount worth up to five per cent of the company’s revenue, if the sites fail to establish strict age verification checks and parental controls to safeguard kids from exposure to harmful videos.

If the tech giants fail to comply with enforcement measures, the Ofcom would have the authority to “suspend” or “restrict” the tech giants’ services in the UK, The Sun reported on Monday, citing the Telegraph.

facebook, instagram
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Reports about this new crackdown is seen as an interim measure and comes ahead of the UK government’s White Paper plans for a statutory duty of care to combat online harms, the report said.

Over the last couple of years, several cases of teen suicides, supposedly encouraged by provocative content or trolling on social networking platforms have come to light.

Also Read: Sony Expands its Audio Range in India with its Smart Speakers

Earlier this year, Facebook also received heavy backlash after video of the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosque in New Zealand was live-streamed.

Using “appropriate information gathering” powers, regulator ofcom may order sites like Facebook or Youtube to hand over data or algorithms which many say drive content to vulnerable children, the report added. (IANS)

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Instagram to Now Ask New Users to Provide Their Birthdate

Users will soon be able to restrict new messages from only people and groups they follow. The feature will arrive in the coming weeks

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram will now ask new users for their date of birth when an account is created.

Previously, Instagram users were required to confirm they were ages 13 or older when signing up, but they didn’t have to provide an exact birthday.

The new addition is Instagram’s attempt to better protect young users and provide a ‘more age-appropriate experience overall’.

“According to our Terms of Use, you must be at least 13-years old to have an account in most countries. Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall. Your birthday will not be visible to others on Instagram, but you’ll be able to see it when viewing your own private account information,” the company said a statement on Wednesday.

facebook, instagram
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

The firm noted that it will pull birthdates from Facebook for user’s who have connected their profile and editing your birth date on Facebook will do the same on Instagram.

For those who do not have a Facebook account, they can add or edit their date of birth directly on Instagram.

Also Read: TikTok Prevents Disabled Users’ Videos From Going Viral: Report

Additionally, Instagram is also preparing a new feature to prevent strangers from sliding into your direct messages.

Users will soon be able to restrict new messages from only people and groups they follow. The feature will arrive in the coming weeks. (IANS)