20 February 2020
Social media firms will face multi-million pound fines and the suspension of their services for showing "harmful" videos under a crackdown by Ofcom in just seven months time.
The Government has quietly handed Ofcom powers to investigate, fine and disrupt video-sharing and live streaming platforms to protect children from "harmful" content including violence, child abuse and pornography.
The legal requirement to protect children from any video content that "impairs their physical, mental or moral development" will come into effect in September as part of an EU-wide directive that Britain has agreed to enact as part of the withdrawal agreement.
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well as Tik Tok, Snapchat and Twitch will be among the tech firms held to account by the new regime which will also require tougher age verification checks to prevent children accessing online harms.