Originally Appeared: City A.M. on November 19, 2020
In the coming days, it is likely that the government will signal the direction it plans to take on its journey to enhance the regulatory framework for content on the internet.
As we wait to assess the details in the final response to the Online Harms White Paper, it is important to take a step back and look at the situation as it stands.
The internet has transformed the nature of our economy, communities and wider society — overwhelmingly for the better. And amid the chaos wrought over the past year, one thing has been very clear: technology will continue to be key to both maintaining our economy and society through these uncertain times and driving the UK forward as we look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Efforts that might potentially limit such a vital technology should be approached carefully.
Let’s be clear, the internet sector shares the government’s ambition to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. To that end, companies already work hard to ensure that they protect users from harm on their services.
The context here is important. On any one day, around 700,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook, 500 million new Tweets are added, and 65 billion WhatsApp messages are sent.