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Ofcom ready to issue fines against social media firms

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The chief executive of Ofcom, Dame Melanie Dawes has unveiled that if Ofcom is appointed as the regulator, internet platforms that fail to address harmful content could face fines and penalties.

Speaking to MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), Dame Melanie Dawes said financial penalties “need to be part” of the potential sanctions included in Online Harms regulation currently being prepared by the UK Government.

The DCMS committee had previously heard from social media companies on how they were addressing online harm, and recently expressed frustration at the actions they had taken to tackle misinformation online relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government has not yet announced which body will be given the role of regulating harmful content on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google, although Ofcom is the most likely candidate.

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