UK Plans Talks With Big Tech to Limit Online Harm for Teens


UK Plans Talks With Big Tech to Limit Online Harm for Teens

Bloomberg – The UK government is planning to engage in discussions with major technology companies such as Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc. to encourage them to sign a voluntary charter aimed at providing parents with greater control over social media usage by young teens, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Quick Facts

  • The UK government intends to consult with technology giants to address potential harm to children caused by social media.
  • Proposed measures include tech firms alerting parents to their children’s repeated exposure to disturbing content.
  • Concerns exist over potential resistance from technology companies to the voluntary agreement.

The government is concerned about the impact of social media on children and plans to engage in talks with major technology firms, including Elon Musk’s social media company, X, and Meta Platform Inc.’s Facebook, to discuss the proposed voluntary charter. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration has been exploring measures to enhance parental controls and consider additional age restrictions to address the issue. However, some technology firms are reportedly resistant to the idea of a voluntary agreement, leading to upcoming discussions with the government.

In response to the government’s initiative, Meta, Apple, Google, and X have not provided comments. The UK government emphasized its commitment to ensuring the safety of children online, stating that it does not comment on “speculation.” Notably, the National Crime Agency had previously cautioned British parents about allowing their children to use Facebook, particularly after Meta’s decision to introduce encrypted messaging, which raised safety concerns. Furthermore, Meta recently lowered the minimum age for WhatsApp usage in Europe from 16 to 13 years.

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