Social media companies have 'spent too long ducking responsibility for the content they host'

Social media companies have for too long “ducked their responsibilities” for the content they host online and must be more “proactive” in protecting the children whose lives are now dominated by their services.

School leaders and the wider education community have welcomed the government’s plans, unveiled last week, to give social media firms a legal requirement to protect their users.

The Online Harms White Paper aims to address issues such as inciting violence, violent content, encouraging suicide, disinformation, cyber-bullying and children accessing inappropriate material.

It sets out plans to create an independent regulator and a mandatory “duty of care” for social media firms, and promises “tough penalties” for firms that do not comply with the requirements.

The government states: “This will include a 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 regulator will have effective enforcement tools, and we are consulting on powers to issue substantial fines, block access to sites and potentially to impose liability on individual members of senior management.”

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here