Britain introducing new laws on social media companies to tackle ‘Wild West elements’

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The United Kingdom is planning to propose laws that would curb cyberbullying and impose restrictions on social media companies, Reuters reported Sunday. 

Matt Hancock, Britain’s digital minister, said Sunday that the government would publish a document that lays out proposals for future legislation. 

“Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better,” Hancock said in a statement.


“At the same time, I have been clear that we have to address the Wild West elements of the Internet through legislation, in a way that supports innovation,” he added.

Reuters reported that he did not provide more specifics, but said the government plans to work with regulators, platforms and advertising companies to address “both legal and illegal harms.”

Hancock said proposed laws would be introduced later this year, with the goal of establishing them in the next couple years.

Britain’s push to address the unsavory aspects of social media comes a couple weeks after first lady Melania Trump launched her “Be Best” campaign. The initiative focuses in part on encouraging children to act with kindness on social media.

Social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have also come under scrutiny in the U.S. in recent months amid questions over data privacy and how Russians used the platforms to influence the 2016 election.

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