U.K. considers direct regulation of social media companies

"Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough."

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By Associated Press

LONDON — The U.K. has proposed directly regulating social media companies for the first time, with senior executives potentially facing fines if they fail to block damaging content such as terrorist propaganda or images of child abuse.

The regulations proposed Monday would create a statutory "duty of care" for social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to protect young people who use their sites. The rules would be overseen by an independent regulator funded by a levy on internet companies.

"Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough," Media Secretary Jeremy Wright said.

The proposed regulations were released for public comment on Monday.