Social media companies warned to prevent access to under 13's

05/09/2023 | The Guardian

Social media companies could face significant financial penalties if they do not block the accounts of children under 13, according to the UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan. Speaking on the eve of the Online Safety Bill's return to parliament, Donelan called for a "zero tolerance" approach to children using social media. The bill grants Ofcom the power to fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover if they fail to implement effective age verification checks. Donelan said the bill could save lives by protecting children from harmful content, including self-harm and pornography. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp owner Meta said it had introduced measures to remove under-13s from its platforms, while Snapchat blocks tens of thousands of sign-up attempts every month.

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Age verification, 13+, Age assurance

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