Social media has contributed enormously to connect people all across the globe. It has facilitated the rapid spread of ideas and helped spawn industries to help numerous people. However, its rampant unregulated use has resulted in lots of harmful content having a free reign on the internet. Such content includes extremist ideologies, religious fundamentalist videos, hate speeches, in addition to cyber bullying and fake news dissemination. Governments and regulators are only now waking up to the dangers of unrestricted content circulating on social media.
Britain has now proposed laws to police and penalize technology firms and social media corporations if they fail to control the spread of toxic videos and appalling articles that may encourage violence, discrimination, racism, cultural intolerance, and others deplorable ideas.
These concerns reached a new high when a man live-streamed his shooting spree in a mosque in New Zealand on Facebook, claiming 50 lives. Such videos are known to promote hatred and an intolerant attitude towards different ethnic groups. The proposed bill would impose fines, block webpages and even hold responsible corporations liable for the content. Facebook released a statement saying that it would extend its complete cooperation to the British government. Various political activists continue to demand a cap on political campaigning conducted on social media platforms.
It is high time that governments across the globe wake to the harsh realities of toxic content running wild on social media before more lives are lost.