The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the United Kingdom's communications regulator, has set new rules video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are required to follow. 

VSPs affected by the new rules include TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, and Vimeo. There are a total of 18 VSPs that are required to comply with the new rules set by Ofcom. 

The new rules laid out by Ofcom seek to better protect users from harmful content. Any VSP that breaches the new rules will be fined or suspended by Ofcom, depending on the severity of the breach. 

Ofcom Sets New Rules for VSPs

Video Sharing Platform
(Photo : Aaron Weiss on Unsplash)

Ofcom, the communications regulator of the UK, has set new rules that VSPs are required to follow. Sanctions will be given to platforms that breach the new rules. 

According to a report by the BBC, VSPs such as TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, and Vimeo "must ensure content related to terrorism, child sexual abuse, and racism does not appear" on their platforms. 

"The platforms where these videos are shared now have a legal duty to take steps to protect their users," said Chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes, as quoted in the BBC report. 

Based on the new rules set by Ofcom, VSPs are required to do the following:

  • Provide clear rules that guide the uploading of content

  • Effectively enforce the aforementioned rules

  • Make it easier for users to report and submit complaints

  • Restrict access to adult content using age-verification

Per the BBC report, the Ofcom will fine any VSP proven to have breached the new rules. Depending on the severity of the breach, UK's regular communication may even suspend the VSP.

Despite the new rules that it set, Ofcom will not assess individual videos posted on VSPs. The communications regulator has also acknowledged that the amount of content will make it difficult to completely rid platforms of harmful content. 

Related Article: Child Abuse Handbook Circulates on Dark Web; Parents Warned as Lockdown Puts Children at Risk for Online Predators

Ofcom's Future Plans

According to the BBC report, "Ofcom promised a report next year into whether those in scope - and there are 18 in total - were taking the appropriate steps."

The UK's communications regulator is also planning to work with the VSPs in the country. This is so Ofcom can work with VSPs to reduce the risk of having childhood sexual abuse content on their platforms. 

Harmful Content in VSPs

VSPs have had multiple issues through the years over harmful content. These VSPs have also taken steps to curb the rise of harmful content on their platforms. 

It was reported in July that TikTok had implemented an automated system that will remove raunchy and violent videos in order to keep underage users safe. However, it was also reported just last month that TikTok allows explicit content for teenagers

Also, last month, certain Twitch streamers staged a boycott due to alleged attacks against minorities on the platform. 

Also Read: Twitch Streamer Critical Bard Bombarded With Racist and Threatening Comments After PogChamp Selection

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Written by Isabella James

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