Britain is racing to become perhaps the most politically correct dystopia as it announces new threats to punish Big Tech companies for “harmful content” produced by users on their platforms.
“Britain is set to hold social media executives personally accountable for antisemitism and other harmful content posted on their networks with company bosses liable to face jail time for serious breaches,” The Jerusalem Post wrote.
Later this month, the British government will reportedly publish results of its research into policing online platforms like Google and Facebook, which it plans to launch after Britain’s departure from the European Union.
This has been in the works since at least spring 2019. Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright was quoted in a British government press release published April 8, 2019, as saying: “The era of self-regulation for online companies is over. Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough.”
The same press release included the announcement of an Orwellian “mandatory ‘duty of care,’” which “will require companies to take reasonable steps to keep their users safe and tackle illegal and harmful activity on their services.”
The press release at least attempted to soothe free speech advocates’ concerns by claiming, "The UK remains committed to a free, open and secure Internet.” It later added that any regulation would “protect users’ rights online, being particularly mindful to not infringe privacy and freedom of expression."
But as The Jerusalem Post observed about these potential new regulations:
“Foreign companies would be required to appoint a British-based director who would be held personally accountable for any breaches in the duty of care, under new ‘senior management liability’ rules. Breaches of the rules would result in fines, and could even result in jail time for the company managers.”
The paper added that, “According to The Times, the rules will cover terrorism, child abuse, illegal drug or weapon sales, cyber-bullying, self-harm, harassment, disinformation, violence and pornography.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party reportedly pledged to make these policy changes in a recently released manifesto, which read:
“We will legislate to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online — protecting children from online abuse and harms, protecting the most vulnerable from accessing harmful content, and ensuring there is no safe space for terrorists to hide online.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism seems assured that its censorious demands will be met, however. This organization which claims to have “provided antisemitism training to Ofcom’s executives,” praised the authoritarian new legislation:
“Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms. It is reassuring to hear that social media sites will be held responsible for cleaning up their own sites. It is vital that Ofcom ensures that complex hate crime on social media is properly identified and understood, and that antisemitism is carefully monitored.”