UK’s OfCom to Publish Guidance on Illegal Content Risk Assessments in Light of Online Safety Bill

The UK’s Online Safety Bill (“Bill”), once legislated, will impose duties of care on providers of digital services, social media platforms and other online services to make them responsible for content generated and shared by their users and to mitigate the risk of harm arising from illegal content, and if services are deemed accessible by children, a duty to protect children from harm. As currently drafted, the Bill applies to any service or site that has users in the UK, or targets the UK as a market, even if it is not based in the country. The Bill is currently at the Committee Stage of the legislative process. Although the Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent during 2023, the timeline as to when the provisions will come into force is still unclear.

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New California Law Adds to Complexity of Content Moderation

States and Congress have been enacting or debating different approaches to online “content moderation” by social media and other internet platforms. California’s “Content Moderation Requirements for Internet Terms of Service” bill (“AB 587”) goes into effect on Jan 1, 2024. In short, AB 587 requires social media companies to disclose their processes to take down or manage content and users on their platforms. AB 587 takes a somewhat different approach to social media content regulation than previously enacted laws in Texas and Florida. (more…)