The UK’s Technology and Science Secretary, Michelle Donelan, has proposed plans that could result in social media executives being imprisoned if they do not censor what is considered “harmful” content on their platforms.
The proposed UK Online Safety Bill, which is intended to implement broad censorship measures, will include the threat of imprisonment, Breitbart News reported.
However, some major technology companies argue that the bill’s provisions, which could also eliminate end-to-end encryption for private internet users, would amount to a de facto ban.
The bill would entrust the regulation of social media to the country’s broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, which would require controlled platforms to censor any expression deemed to spread, incite, promote, or justify hatred on the basis of several progressive attributes, including transgender identity.
As reported by The Telegraph, Donelan has affirmed her desire to see social media executives who disregard the proposed regulations imprisoned, citing the protection of children as the rationale for this drastic approach.
According to reports, the jail sentence would only be imposed as a last resort against executives who deliberately overlook or collude in disregarding enforceable obligations to censor content, including disinformation from foreign entities, which the government contends could pose a serious danger to children.
Moreover, companies that refuse to comply with Britain’s forthcoming censorship policies, including preemptively deleting or obscuring posts deemed to violate the rules, will be subject to fines of up to 10% of their global revenue.
Written by staff