The UK Ofcom has established new guidelines requiring video sharing platforms (VSPs) like Twitch to protect users from harmful content.
As reported by BBC News, these platforms – which include Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat and Vimeo – must take “appropriate measures” to protect users from content related to terrorism, child sexual abuse and racism, the regulator saying that “a third of users have seen hateful content on these sites.
Under the new rules, sites like Twitch will need to provide and effectively enforce clear rules for uploading content, facilitate the reporting and complaint process, and restrict access to adult content with robust age verification.
Those who violate the guidelines will be subject to fines, while serious cases may result in suspension of the entire service.
Ofcom said one of its top priorities for the coming year will be to work with PCVs to reduce the risk of uploading child pornography.
Minors (under the age of 18) must also be protected from equipment liable to “harm their physical, mental or moral development”.
While that does not mean Ofcom would evaluate individual videos and recognize that it is impossible to prevent every case of harm, it nonetheless promised a “rigorous but fair” approach to its new functions.
“Online videos play a huge role in our lives now, especially for children,” said CEO Dame Melanie Dawes. “But a lot of people see hateful, violent or inappropriate material when they use it. The platforms on which these videos are shared now have a legal obligation to take measures to protect their users. “
The full advice is available on the Ofcom website.
Elsewhere, the entirety of Twitch has reportedly been hacked and disclosed, including its source code, user payment information, and encrypted passwords. Platform users are advised to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.