Britain is telling tech giants to provide better protection against anonymous trolls


Social platforms will have to abide by more rules in the UK.

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Tech companies will be asked to give UK social media users more control over who can interact with them online. This includes blocking the interaction of other users whose identities have not been verified by the platforms.

Demand is part of new resources aims to strengthen the upcoming online safety act that the UK government is trying to pass. The new legislation, formerly known as the Online Harms Bill, has been in preparation for years. The draft law published last May details how UK media oversight Ofcom will be accused of regulating UK tech companies, including imposing heavy fines on them for non-compliance.

Spurred on by racist abuses against British soccer players, death and rape threats against politicians and other abuses against minorities, lawmakers on Friday added two new obligations to the bill. First of all, users of the largest and most popular social networking sites have the option to block anyone who has not verified their identity. The second will require tech companies to provide tools that allow users to choose whether they want to be exposed to legal but harmful content.

“We have heard calls to strengthen our new internet safety rules and are announcing new measures to give more power to social media users themselves,” UK Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said in a statement. “People will now have more control over who can contact them and will be able to contain the tide of hatred that dishonest algorithms are giving them.”

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