I read a recent newspaper report that the UK police force were dealing with roughly 80,000 cases of online child sex grooming.

If newspapers, or publishing firms published child pornography there were be a massive uproar. Likewise with tv stations and film studios.

However tech firms it seems can get away with publishing child pornography and facilitating such grooming rings almost with impunity. Their argument is generally that they provide a resource and can't be held responsible for the behaviour of users. They say that they facilitate 'sharing' whilst eliding over the very visible fact that bad practises can be shared too.

Surely that is an argument that is wearing very thin now. If it takes more man-power than they have readily to hand - well surely they should hire more people. They make enough money as it is. I'll believe Mark Zuckerbergs catchism on 'sharing' when he substantially shares out his massive fortune.

Is there any kind of legal pressure that can be applied on tech firms so that they take a much more proactive line in moderation rather than simply relying on the unpaid and untrained labour of thousands of people? If not, does this mean that the legal profession needs to start looking at how such laws can be framed?

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on politics.stackexchange.com – BlueDogRanch Nov 11 '18 at 22:59
  • @BlueDogRanch: It belongs here because I'm asking what legal measure are available and why they are not being used. There is an overlap between law and politics of course - which is why quite often lawyers become politicians. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 11 '18 at 23:03
  • The legal measure concerned is called eff.org/issues/cda230 To change the law takes political action. – BlueDogRanch Nov 11 '18 at 23:24
  • @BlueDogRanch: That assumes that the law needs changing. Maybe it doesn't? Perhaps there are useful measures that are already on the books but aren't being simply used.For example, one question that I heard a European lawmaker was to ask why they simply shouldn't break up the tech firms. I gather those measures are already under the books under anti-trust. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 11 '18 at 23:26
  • 1
    One reason why the author of this question didn't post this question on Politics Stack Exchange might be that the user is currently suspended there. – Philipp Nov 12 '18 at 12:30

Social media platforms are not publishers under UK law (at present), as such, they are not legally responsible for the content they host providing that there is a mechanism for alerting them to infringing material and that, when alerted, they remove it.

As to "why", that is a political question.

  • -1: I disagree - it a legal question. What what would make this a much better answer is providing the legal justification as to why social media platforms are not legally considered publishers, including dissenting opinions. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 14 '18 at 13:46
  • They are not legally publishers because politicians around the world have decided they aren’t and written laws to give effect to that decision – Dale M Nov 14 '18 at 19:46
  • I did not say legally understood as publishers. Apparently, once a senate decided that pi was legally defined to be 3.14. Mathematicians just fell over themselves laughing at their stupidity. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 14 '18 at 19:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.