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Government Demands Social Networks Remove Abusive Content

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Government announces plans to tackle cyber bullying and improve Internet safety education

The government is to demand that social networks and internet providers remove abusive, humiliating or intimidating content, with an industry-wide levy applied to help raise awareness.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says its proposals for an industry wide code of practice, along with a transparency report to show the progress made in removing abusive and harmful content, will make the UK the “safest place in the world to be online.”

The Government Internet Safety Strategy will also demand that mobile apps and online service have built-in safety features and that the UK Council for Child Internet Safety becomes the UK Council for Internet Safety to reflect its wider role.

Evil parliament (c) pisaphotography, Shutterstock 2014

The Government Internet Safety Strategy

Other proposals call for more education on social media and Internet safety in schools, along with additional education for sex and relationships amid fears children are learning too much about these topics online.

It is hoped that industry, charities, parents and even children themselves will contribute to the framework for dealing with Internet safety and cyber bullying.

 “The Internet has been an amazing force for good, but it has caused undeniable suffering and can be an especially harmful place for children and vulnerable people,” said culture minister Karen Bradley.

“Behaviour that is unacceptable in real life is unacceptable on a computer screen. We need an approach to the Internet that protects everyone without restricting growth and innovation in the digital economy.

“Our ideas are ambitious – and rightly so. Collaboratively, government, industry, parents and communities can keep citizens safe online, but only by working together.”

The proposals complement recently announced plans to tackle online radicalisation and extremist content.

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