Websites face fines under new 'online harms' proposals

Online Harms White Paper is joint proposal from DCMS and Home Office.

Online Harms White Paper: proposed measures include an independent watchdog
Online Harms White Paper: proposed measures include an independent watchdog

The government has put forward proposals comprising legislative and non-legislative measures to ensure that websites are more responsible for their users’ online safety, especially children and other vulnerable groups.

The measures, outlined in the Online Harms White Paper, are a joint proposal from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Home Office, and include an independent watchdog and a code of practice that tech companies would have to follow. Sites could be fined if they fail to adequately tackle online harm.

The IPA, which has been calling for measures to maximise brand safety on online platforms, has welcomed the publishing of the white paper.

Paul Bainsfair, director-general at the IPA, said: "Reputable brands and advertising agencies would never want to be associated with harmful content or to unwittingly fund antisocial or terrorist activity. We have a vested interest in working with government to solve the issues identified in this white paper."

The white paper was launched today (8 April), with a consultation period open until 1 July.

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