First-ever code to police internet, social media giants to be confined by code of conduct

WION Web Team London, London, Great Britain (UK) Jan 22, 2020, 01.39 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Potential fines are approximately worth billions of pounds will be enforced by the government to prevent cases of self-harm.

Social media giants will be legitimately bound to protect children from watching self-harm content.

In England, social media giants such as Google, Facebook along with several others have been prohibited from publishing content that is '' detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of children,'' according to the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

Potential fines are approximately worth billions of pounds will be enforced by the government to prevent cases of self-harm.

Also watch: Google CEO calls for artificial intelligence regulation

 

The incident that prompted this decision was the suicide of a 14-year-old called Molly Russell who took her own life after watching several self-harm images on Instagram and other social media platforms.

The companies need to safeguard the privacy of the children and not to use their personal information for commercial purposes

They are also required to keep a check on ''addictive'' features that make them stay online, to prevent their grooming from paedophiles.

According to the Information Commissioner, ''it is the first step taken to ensure that digital services take responsibility for the experience of their users''.

Interestingly, the Bombay High Court in India gave a similar judgement on Tuesday where it ruled against a social media influencer who had criticised a hair oil brand.

Also read: India may force social media platforms to offer identity-verification option

While giving the judgement, the High Court also said that social media influencers should exercise their right to free speech and expression "cautiously" to ensure that their message does not harm anyone’s reputation.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women Empowerment met representatives of the Facebook group at Parliament House Annexe building on December 5 last year because of the rising crime against women on social media.

The Committee chaired by Heena Gavit in Lok Sabha discussed cyber harassment and cyberbullying with representatives of the social media giant, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.