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Ofcom to regulate social media in the UK

The UK government is giving Ofcom the power to regulate posts on the internet.

Tory ministers have decided to give the regulator the "responsibility to protect users' rights online" and "freedom of expression".

In a new document, culture secretary Dame Nicky Morgan and home secretary Priti Patel, stated: "Freedom of expression, and the role of a free press, is vital to a healthy democracy.

"We will ensure that there are safeguards in the legislation, so companies and the new regulator have a clear responsibility to protect users' rights online, including freedom of expression and the need to maintain a vibrant and diverse public square.

"With Ofcom at the helm of a proportionate and strong regulatory regime, we have an incredible opportunity to lead the world in building a thriving digital economy, driven by groundbreaking technology, that is trusted by and protects everyone in the UK.

"We will give the regulator the powers it needs to lead the fight for an internet that remains vibrant and open but with the protections, accountability and transparency people deserve."

Patel added that it's the responsibility of social media sites to "fulfil their vital responsibility to vulnerable users".

She added: "While the internet can be used to connect people and drive innovation, we know it can also be a hiding place for criminals, including paedophiles, to cause immense harm.

"It is incumbent on tech firms to balance issues of privacy and technological advances with child protection.

"That's why it is right that we have a strong regulator to ensure social media firms fulfil their vital responsibility to vulnerable users."

It was also announced that civil servant Dame Melanie Dawes has been appointed Ofcom's new chief executive, whilst chairman Lord Burns is retiring from the role.

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