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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.

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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 Experiences Highest Outrage While Twitter Reports Least in Q4

The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019

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Instagram
A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The Twitter outage lasted only about a half an hour, leaving unable to tweet, retweet, like tweets or access their account at the peak of the outage, according to the findings by Downdetector, a company which tracks outages in technology platforms and social media sites. Facebook also experienced an outage on November 28 with 12,726 reports at the peak. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users across the globe.

“The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said the report titled “What Went Down? The Most Significant Online Service Outages in Q4 2019”.

“A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages at the peak of the outage,” it added. Facebook’s Messenger app experienced a smaller outage on November 18, 2019 with 8,952 users reporting outages at the peak.

Instagram
Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019. Pixabay

Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app was down for five and a half hours on October 14, 2019, leaving users unable to chat, send or receive photos from their friends. At the peak of the outage, 18,252 users from the US reported problems.

The outage was so significant as the hashtag #SnapchatDown was trending on Twitter at the time of the outage.In the mobile operators category, Vodafone was down for about four hours for thousands of users on October 23, 2019.

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At the peak of the outage, 21,065 users, primarily in Germany, reported having problems with their service, said the report. (IANS)