Social media bosses who fail to censor “harmful” content on their sites should be jailed, plans announced by a UK minister have stipulated.
Technology and Science Secretary Michelle Donelan has announced plans to see social media executives thrown in jail should they fail to censor so-called “harmful” content on their websites.
The jail threat is to be part of the UK’s Online Safety Bill, a widespread censorship plan that some tech giants claim will also effectively ban end-to-end encryption for private internet users.
As it currently stands, the bill will give control of social media regulation to Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom, which mandates platforms under its control to censor “all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred” based on various progressive characteristics, including transgenderism.
According to a report by The Telegraph, Donelan has now confirmed that she wants any social media boss who ignores the new restrictions to be jailed, justifying such an extreme measure with reference to protecting children.
Such a measure will reportedly be used as a last resort to deal with executives that “have consented or connived in ignoring enforceable requirements” to censor content, including so-called “disinformation” from a foreign state, which government officials claim would amount to “risking serious harm to children”.
Companies will also face fines of up to 10 per cent of their global revenue should they dare to ignore Britain’s demands to preemptively delete or obscure posts violating its coming censorship regime.
Authoritarian States ‘Want to Control People’ by Censoring Internet: ICANN https://t.co/SBHIJ0k9ol
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 25, 2023
Backed by wide-swathes of the Tory party, the Online Safety Bill has been met with horror from a number of big tech companies, who have warned that the legislation would effectively kill privacy on many parts of the internet.
Both Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service, as well as one of its main rivals, Signal, have warned that measures requiring them to automatically detect child abuse material in private messages would effectively destroy end-to-end encryption and enforce a system of mandatory surveillance on its user base.
The two platforms have now both vowed to leave the UK market if the bill is made law.
“[W]e would absolutely 100% walk rather than ever undermine the trust that people place in us to provide a truly private means of communication,” Signal President Meredith Whittaker previously told the BBC regarding the legislation.
“We have never weakened our privacy promises, and we never would,” she went on to say.
Regardless, the idea that handing control of the internet to Ofcom to increase child safety is questionable, given their censorship of UK television is already allowing concerning material to be broadcast.
For example, the country’s publicly-funded Channel 4 recently aired a programme that involved transgender individuals stripping naked in front of children in order to “educate them”.
The show has been praised as depicting a “truly powerful moment” of trans people stripping naked in front of children, with the show garnering just under 1,000 official complaints from the public. There has been no indication that the broadcast of the show will be suspended pending an investigation.
TV Show Exposing Children to Naked Adults Sees Broadcast Regulator Inundated With Complaints https://t.co/7isLVlRk70
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 13, 2023