With the whole of the U.K. being shaken by the increasing threat of terrorism, the call to fine internet giants who fail to moderate social media contents has stirred up. On Sunday, May 28, 2017, the security minister of the U.K., Ben Wallace, suggested that the party is pondering on bringing in financial penalties to encourage prompt action on hate speech or problem content from tech and media companies if the conservative party returns to government at the general elections scheduled on June 8, 2017.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the minister dubbed the Facebook’s moderation guidelines as totally unacceptable, citing the guideline that says that it is OK to post abuse of under-7-year-old children from bullying given that it does not have captions besides.
U.K. Parliamentary Committee Suggested Financial Penalties
In a recent report, a U.K. parliamentary committee has also criticized the social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for having a ‘laissez-faire approach’ towards moderating hate speech and problem contents. This committee only suggested that the government should consider imposing fines on social media companies for content moderation failures, and has demanded a review of existing rules and regulations to ensure clarity about how they are applied.
Facebook has declined to comment on the minister’s statement; however, the company has said previously that it aims to make it easy for users to report problem content and will accelerate the overall process in near future for the reviewers to identify the posts that violate its standards.