Social media giants could face criminal sanctions over online harms, warns Culture Secretary

Social media giants could face criminal sanctions over online harms, warns Culture Secretary

Social media firms could face criminal sanctions for failing to protect users from online harms, the Culture Secretary has warned on eve of a visit to meet tech bosses in the US.

Asked on the BBC if the Government would introduce criminal sanctions in its forthcoming White Paper regulating the social media firms, Jeremy Wright said: “We will consider all possible options for penalties.

“It’s important that those companies understand that there are meaningful sanctions available to us if they don’t do what they should. That’s what I think we owe the families of teenagers [like Molly Russell who took her life after viewing self-harm images].”

Mr Wright is to fly to the US this week with digital minister Margot James to discuss the Government’s plans to regulate the industry with tech chiefs including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“What I will be talking to them about is what the UK government thinks is necessary to keep its citizens safe,” said Mr Wright on the Andrew Marr show.

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