New rules have been unveiled to protect children online, which include limiting direct messages and removing them from suggested friend lists.
They form part of Ofcom’s first draft codes of practice under the Online Safety Act, which was signed into law a week ago.
It focuses on illegal material online such as grooming content, fraud and child sexual abuse.
Platforms will be required by law to keep children’s location data private – and restrict who can send direct messages to them.
Ofcom will publish more rules in the next few months around online safety and the promotion of material related to suicide and self-harm, with each new code requiring parliamentary approval before it is put in place.
It hopes the codes announced today will be enforced by the end of next year.
The code also encourages larger platforms to use hash matching technology to identify illegal images of abuse – and tools to detect websites hosting such material.
Ofcom said services should use automatic detection systems to remove posts linked to stolen financial information, and block accounts run by proscribed organisations.
Tech firms must also nominate an accountable person, Ofcom said, who reports to senior management on compliance with the code.
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Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes told Sky News: “I think without regulation it isn’t getting better fast enough, and in some areas it is going in the wrong direction.
“The more that we see innovation in things like AI, it means I’m afraid it’s easier for the bad guys to create fraudulent material – that…
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This notice was published: 2023-11-09 00:01:00
Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.