Close
Date TimeOctober 11, 2017
VoiceFacebook and Twitter face a bully tax in Britain
Britain could hit Facebook and Twitter with a new tax designed to fight hate crimes and support victims of online bullying.
The government of Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the proposal on Wednesday, saying it aims to ensure that "Britain is the safest place in the world to be online."
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said the levy would target social media companies and communication service providers.
Details remain thin, however: The government did not single out specific companies, detail how the tax would be applied or estimate how much money it would raise.
Bradley said the levy would start as a "voluntary measure." But she also told the BBC that the government could pass a law if the voluntary scheme doesn't work.
She said the initiative would be similar to an existing levy on gambling companies that funds anti-addiction programs.
"The internet has been an amazing force for good, but it has caused undeniable suffering and can be an especially harmful place for children and vulnerable people," Bradley said.
Facebook (FB, Tech30) said in a statement that it welcomes "close collaboration between industry, experts and government to address this important issue."
Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) did not comment on the proposal specifically, but said in a statement that it had dramatically increased the number of abusive accounts it removes.
The tech industry has come under increased scrutiny in Europe, where politicians and regulators are considering the role of social media in society.
But analysts say there's been more talk than action so far in Britain.
"Bashing tech giants is easy. Clear, good laws for the digital age are much more difficult," said Carl Miller, research director at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. "Government, all too often, is taking the easy route here."
The European Union gave tech firms an ultimatum last month, saying it would pass laws allowing it to impose punishments on companies that fail to tackle online hate speech.
In Germany, social media companies can be fined as much as €50 million ($59 million) if they fail to quickly remove posts that breach the country's laws.
Critics of the new policies say they jeopardize free speech and expression.
Jacob Mchangama, director at the think tank Justitia, warned that Europe is moving in "an increasing illiberal direction when it comes to internet freedom and the free flow of information."

Related Stories
Queen Elizabeth Wouldnt Allow Prince William and Kate Middleton to Get Divorced, Heres WhyQueen Elizabeth Wouldn't Allow Prince William and Kate Middleton to Get Divorced, Here's Why
OJ Simpson Has Joined TwitterOJ Simpson Has Joined Twitter
Suspect arrested in soccer star Emiliano Sala’s fatal plane crashSuspect arrested in soccer star Emiliano Sala’s fatal plane crash
Boris Johnson To Face Jeremy Hunt In Final Run-Off For Tory Leadership As Michael Gove Knocked OutBoris Johnson To Face Jeremy Hunt In Final Run-Off For Tory Leadership As Michael Gove Knocked Out
BBC defends Jo Brand after she says: Why bother with milkshake when you could get some battery acid?BBC defends Jo Brand after she says: 'Why bother with milkshake when you could get some battery acid?'
President Trump Is the Latest Critic of Facebooks LibraPresident Trump Is the Latest Critic of Facebook's Libra
Dubais Princess Haya battles billionaire ruler husband in UK High CourtDubai's Princess Haya battles billionaire ruler husband in UK High Court
Oxford University accepts £150m from US private equity bossOxford University accepts £150m from US private equity boss
Heres the tech behind Facebooks Libra cryptocurrencyHere's the tech behind Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency
Boris Johnson pledges new determination to leave EU by 31 OctoberBoris Johnson pledges new determination to leave EU by 31 October
News Trends
Hailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin BieberHailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin Bieber
A$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold HimA$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold Him
Watchmen Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?'Watchmen' Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?
British Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security PrecautionBritish Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security 'Precaution'
Linkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester BenningtonLinkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester Bennington
Kyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With BucksKyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bucks
AOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook groupAOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook group
Ilhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political stormIlhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political storm
Michelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trumps racist tweetsMichelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trump's racist tweets
Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherOliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Queen Elizabeth Wouldnt Allow Prince William and Kate Middleton to Get Divorced, Heres WhyQueen Elizabeth Wouldn't Allow Prince William and Kate Middleton to Get Divorced, Here's Why
OJ Simpson Has Joined TwitterOJ Simpson Has Joined Twitter
Suspect arrested in soccer star Emiliano Sala’s fatal plane crashSuspect arrested in soccer star Emiliano Sala’s fatal plane crash
Boris Johnson To Face Jeremy Hunt In Final Run-Off For Tory Leadership As Michael Gove Knocked OutBoris Johnson To Face Jeremy Hunt In Final Run-Off For Tory Leadership As Michael Gove Knocked Out
BBC defends Jo Brand after she says: Why bother with milkshake when you could get some battery acid?BBC defends Jo Brand after she says: 'Why bother with milkshake when you could get some battery acid?'
President Trump Is the Latest Critic of Facebooks LibraPresident Trump Is the Latest Critic of Facebook's Libra
Dubais Princess Haya battles billionaire ruler husband in UK High CourtDubai's Princess Haya battles billionaire ruler husband in UK High Court
Oxford University accepts £150m from US private equity bossOxford University accepts £150m from US private equity boss
Heres the tech behind Facebooks Libra cryptocurrencyHere's the tech behind Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency
Boris Johnson pledges new determination to leave EU by 31 OctoberBoris Johnson pledges new determination to leave EU by 31 October
News Trends
Hailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin BieberHailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin Bieber
A$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold HimA$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold Him
Watchmen Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?'Watchmen' Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?
British Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security PrecautionBritish Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security 'Precaution'
Linkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester BenningtonLinkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester Bennington
Kyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With BucksKyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bucks
AOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook groupAOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook group
Ilhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political stormIlhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political storm
Michelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trumps racist tweetsMichelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trump's racist tweets
Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherOliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Miley Cyrus shows of long tongue in Carpool Karaoke trailer
NFL owners to consider rule forcing players to stand for national anthem
Equifax says 15.2 million UK records exposed in cyber breach
Zuckerberg's social VR is a future nobody really wants or needs - Wired.co.uk
Newsnight: Theresa May right-hand man declares the 'UK WILL be worse off after Brexit'
US fails to reach 2018 World Cup; Argentina breathes sigh of relief
Previewing health order, Trump vows 'great, great' insurance
Harvey Weinstein denies rape accusations
How do I make money? What mortgage suits me? Top 10 most Googled financial questions
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and more: How the stars might not actually align at the 2018 World Cup - The Independent
Google Chrome WARNING as THOUSANDS of users tricked into downloading THIS fake app
Macron can do NOTHING! Catalan MEP blasts French threat to punish an independent Catalonia
World War 3: North Korea hackers steal ultra-classified USA WAR PLANS
SpaceX launch stream: Falcon 9 rocket launches 10 Iridium NEXT satellites – WATCH it here
Netflix Italy Announces Soccer Docu-Series: 'Juventus FC'
While Netflix hikes, Hulu drops price for its entry-level plan
Late-Night Hosts Respond to Harvey Weinstein's Ouster
London Tube bomber's accomplice became council 'poster girl' after bosses failed to uncover criminal record - Telegraph.co.uk
Is Taylor Swift failing on the charts? Here's why her first two singles haven't soared
World War 3: Russia orders US to ABANDON North Korea fight as major conflict looms
Melania Trump responds to Ivana Trump calling herself 'first lady'
Trump demands border wall funds, immigration changes
Amazon's new Echo speaker with a touchscreen is on sale for the first time ever - Business Insider
Meryl Streep Speaks Out Against Harvey Weinstein
Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms - Washington Post
NIBIRU COVER UP? Mysterious death of scientists who ‘found Planet X’
Hillary Clinton attacks Brexit voters’ 'SMALL VILLAGE’ ideas that reject 'modern future'
Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on 'dreamers' - Washington Post
Apple Stores offer FREE coding sessions - Here's how you can learn these vital skills
Barcelona News: Lionel Messi gave blessing for Antoine Griezmann to replace Neymar
Miley Cyrus' Lip Sync Battle With Jimmy Fallon Is Exhausting Just To Watch
REVEALED: Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are 'permitted' to show affection in public
The world's most mysterious family tree
Dove apologises for ad showing black woman turning into white one
MAPPED: Which countries have nuclear weapons? Does North Korea have nukes?
SpaceX Rocket to Launch 10 Satellites Early Monday: How to Watch Live - Space.com
Elon Musk warns 'end of simulation we live is COMING SOON & AI will overtake human race'
End of Surface? Shock claims Microsoft could SCRAP tablet and laptop line
Rafael Nadal gives Nick Kyrgios advice after winning stormy China Open final
Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese GP to take big step towards F1 title - The Guardian
If you really like Samsung, you should probably buy an iPhone X
The Catalans who oppose a split from Spain
Hurricane Nate weakens to a tropical storm after making US landfall twice
Chelsea News: Antonio Conte thinking about quitting at the end of the season - EXCLUSIVE
Theresa May planning to 'silence Boris Johnson with imminent Cabinet reshuffle'
Trump says 'only one thing will work' with nuclear-armed North Korea
3 best and worst features of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL - The Verge
Meghan Markle secures Middleton wedding dress designer as Prince Harry proposal 'imminent'
PS5 release date killer feature gets update, will Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch follow? - Express.co.uk
North Korea issued World War 3 warning by Donald Trump - ‘Only one thing will work!’
At least 11 people injured as car hits pedestrians near London museum
'Tonight Show' Female Writers Pen Thank You Notes to Hillary Clinton
Tom Cruise falls in love with Essex town while filming Mission Impossible 6
BREAKING: Car 'ploughs into crowd' outside Natural History Museum - people injured
iOS 12: what we want to see - TechRadar
Irina Shayk suffers wardrobe malfunction as she exposes pants and bra in boob-baring gown
BREXIT BLOCK: Merkel and Macron CRUSH May's hopes for quick transitional deal
Google ditched Gear S4 and Apple Watch rivals from Google Store (and nobody even noticed)
Kate and William may make shock choice for royal baby’s godparents snubbing Prince Harry
Harvey Weinstein Will Reportedly Be Suspended From His Company
Wayne Rooney 'seen working off drink-driving community service at local garden centre' - Independent.ie
Thaad: US to sell $15bn missile defence to Saudi Arabia
'Black Mirror' Bosses, Cast Unveil One Season 4 Episode
'You have one hour or it will BLOW' Square evacuated by police after dramatic bomb threat
'Time traveller from 2048’ warns people 'aliens will attack earth in 2018’
Goodbye AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM
Congressmen press White House to revoke Jared Kushner's and Ivanka Trump's security clearances
Facebook tackles fake news with 'context' button
Catalonia referendum: Spain apologises to injured Catalans
Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City managers in running for September award
Putin’s Middle East power surge: Russia sells WEAPONS to Saudi Arabia in lucrative deal
How Ross From 'Friends' Predicted 'Black Mirror's' San Junipero
Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod— or all 3? How to choose a smart speaker
Late-Night Hosts Take On Trump, Tillerson 'Moron' Report
Trump wins, Congress loses with Iran deal politics
Yahoo HACK hit BILLIONS - Find out if YOUR account was HACKED, how to change password
Catalonia is NOT alone: Mapped - the other European regions desperate for independence
Yes, San Juan Mayor’s ‘Nasty’ Shirt Was Aimed At Trump
Kate Winslet stripped NAKED for Idris Elba romp but you WON'T believe what he requested
CIA: Kim Jong Un isn't crazy
Julia Roberts Reenacts Her Film Career With the Help of James Corden
Catalan crisis: Spanish court bars MPs' independence move
British writer Kazuo Ishiguro wins 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature
‘Brexit should be a lesson!' Furious Hungary promises EU WAR over new Brussels crackdown
Welcome to England's chosen hotel for their Russia 2018 base... and it may not be what WAGS are used to - Telegraph.co.uk
Vladimir Putin gives 'lifeline' to Kim Jong-un in bid to save regime and stop World War 3
Google Clips camera: creepy or fun?
Queen has revealed her favourite song but it is not what you might think
NASA ‘solves’ baffling mystery of ‘alien megastructures’ surrounding distant Tabby’s Star
Evidence Suggests Las Vegas Shooter Planned Escape, Police Say
Catalonia leader attacks king's speech and insists region IS following democratic process
Google Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2: Google unveils its iPhone rival
Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon Freak Out Fans In 'Tonight Show' Photobomb Gag
France uses THATCHER QUOTE to demand Britain pays Brexit bill: 'We want our money back!'
Celine Dion donates concert proceeds to Vegas shooting victims: 'So many are still suffering'
Nicole Richie and Tina Fey Spoof Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' Video on 'Great News'
Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, returns to U.S., reports say
GET UP Boris! Moment Amber Rudd orders Johnson to STAND up for PM in show of support
Justin Trudeau Suggests $1 Per Gram Tax On Marijuana
Catalonia could BRING DOWN EU: Brussels warned NOT to wash its hands or risk its FUTURE
Yahoo tops the list of largest ever data breaches
Vegas shooter modified guns for rapid fire, used cameras to monitor police
Bitcoin to hit highest level EVER as with digital currency set to be worth £6,000 per coin
French police arrest couple with ROCKET LAUNCHER near Marseille days after knife terror
Theresa May: Boris Johnson isn't undermining me
Catalonia Referendum: Spain's King Felipe calls independence vote illegal and undemocratic
Ellen DeGeneres Offers 'Message of Hope' After Las Vegas Massacre
Shame on Labour! Priti Patel demolishes Corbyn's 'vile brand of socialism' in fiery speech
Trump landed in Puerto Rico and wasted no time before criticizing its leaders
Why Equifax will continue to profit by selling your personal information
David Davis speech LIVE: UK is READY for NO DEAL - Brexit secretary hints at alternative
Storms, earthquakes, North Korea and now the Las Vegas massacre. We have to wonder: 'What's next?'
'Game of Thrones' Podcast: The Cost of Moving the Mountain
Spain in CHAOS: Police evicted from hotels after BRUTALITY of Catalonia referendum vote
BREAKING: EU MEPs declare NO sufficient Brexit progress in vote blasted a 'distraction'
Facebook: Russian ads reached 10 million people
Longer jail terms for viewing terror content online
Don't bash Britain over Brexit: 'Schadenfreude' is DEVASTATING the EU, warns German paper
Late-Night Hosts Speak Out About Gun Violence in Wake of Las Vegas Tragedy
'Shots fired' at California university – police order students to take shelter
'Beyond horrific.' Country music world stunned by Las Vegas shooting
Mariah Carey Reacts to Vegas Shooting on Live TV: 'It's Terrible'
SPAIN IN CRISIS: Stock market crash over Catalonia chaos - ‘WORST outcome for Madrid’
The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history
'The Gifted': Who's Who in Fox's New X-Men Series
BREAKING: ISIS claims responsibility for Las Vegas shooting - 'he converted months ago'
Sandy Hook Senator: ‘It’s Time for Congress To Get Off Its Ass And Do Something’
Las Vegas shooting: What we know
Las Vegas shooting: 'YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE' – SHOCK WARNING 45 minutes before attack
Who is Stephen Paddock? Las Vegas shooting suspect named as 64-year-old man
More than 20 dead after shooting on Las Vegas Strip
Catalonia referendum: Catalans to ‘declare INDEPENDENCE’ after 90 per cent Yes vote
Las Vegas shooting video: HORRIFYING moments shots ring out across Mandalay Bay concert
Couple admits to stealing $1.2 million from Amazon
North Korea provided with internet by Russian company despite UN sanctions
Catalonia votes to LEAVE Spain as 90 per cent say 'Yes' in referendum
Catalan referendum: muted response from EU leaders over police crackdown - The Guardian
‘Not European anymore’ Furious Catalans slam EU for silence over police violence in Spain
Trump: Tillerson 'wasting his time' negotiating with North Korea
2 women stabbed to death at Marseille train station, attacker shot dead
Catalan government: '465 injured by Spanish police violence' during referendum - live
FC Barcelona bars public from match amid Catalan vote chaos
BREAKING: Marseille attack: Knifeman shot dead by army as one killed in stabbing
REVEALED: China’s plans to ‘REMOVE’ volatile North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
Catalan referendum: Police fire grenades and rubber bullets as voters bleed in streets
Catalonia referendum LIVE: Riot police STORM polling stations as independence vote begins
US talking to North Korea 'directly,' Tillerson says
Meghan Markle and her mother cozy up to Prince Harry at Invictus Games closing ceremony
Ryan Gosling Makes Fun of His 'La La Land' Character in 'SNL' Opener
Royal Canadian Legion Sends A Chilling Message To Employees
SEE IT: Engine destroyed on Air France flight from Paris to LA - New York Daily News
Trump called San Juan's mayor a weak leader. Here's what her leadership looks like. - Washington Post
Your Google Assistant: Now on Android TV
Elon Musk: Rockets will fly people from city to city in minutes
Shay Mitchell to Star in ABC Drama From 'Pretty Little Liars' Creators
‘We expect CHAOS’ Neo-Nazi group descend on Swedish city as police arrest protestors
Spanish police move to enforce ban on Catalan independence poll
HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns
Jay-Z and Ryan Gosling Are 'Together Again at Last' in 'SNL' Promos
Brexit: Boris Johnson urges two-year transition time limit
Barack Obama joins Prince Harry for Invictus surprise
World War 3 threat: North Korea spotted moving MISSILES from rocket facility
BREAKING: Man stabbed to death near Tory Party Conference in Manchester city centre fight
Trump’s tax plan is very good for Trump: $757 million over 10 years
World War 3: North Korea & Russia issued nuclear WARNING – 'they're reckless & aggressive'
Teach Your Preteen That Looking 'Sexy' Doesn't Mean 'Ready For Sex'
Ellen DeGeneres Brings Back Karla Kardashian for 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' Parody
‘We love Great Britain!’ Merkel targeted in angry protest outside EU summit
How to stop your devices from listening to (and saving) what you say
Rihanna to Trump: 'Don't let your people die like this'
Face au cancer du sein, de l'esprit ou du corps, qui va maîtriser l'autre?
Fin des allocations familiales pour tous: pourquoi Macron va devoir trancher
Elon Musk Unveils Ambitious Plan To Build A City On Mars
Oh no you don’t May! Photo shows how EU kept PM from talking to Merkel in Brexit block
Let's Talk About Hugh Hefner's Political Legacy - New York Times
UK only has HOURS to prepare for WW3: North Korea vs US is REAL possibility - shock report
Theresa meets Ange: May to steal 30 minutes away from EU prying eyes to speak to Merkel
This Blind Astrophysicist 'Sees' the Universe in the Most Amazing Way | Short Film Showcase
UK's top supplier of supermarket chicken fiddles food safety dates
Attorney: Kushner used private email account to talk to WH officials
Uber ruling puts jobs at risk, says Theresa May
Inside the Playboy Mansion With Hugh Hefner - RollingStone.com
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Rising up against May: 50,000 anti-Brexit protesters to descend on Tory conference
What is the Jones Act?
Rep. Steve Scalise returns to House after shooting
Netflix commits half a billion dollars to new Canadian productions: sources
U.S. Plans To Monitor Immigrants’ Social Media Accounts, Search Histories
Theresa May threatens US TRADE WAR over Bombardier row
Emmanuel Macron launches SAVAGE attack on David Cameron for failing during Brexit campaign
Hefner started Playboy with $600 and built it into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire. He died at 91
'Survivor' Season 35: The First One Out Reveals What Went Wrong
Trudeau ‘disappointed’ in U.S. decision to slap 220 per cent duty on Canada’s Bombardier jets
World War 3 latest: Russia on war footing as Putin's troops amass on North Korea border
Robots could destabilise world through war and unemployment, says UN
Passengers in Puerto Rican airport have little water or food, no working ATMs and no idea when they'll leave
'Big Brother' Fan-Favorites to Compete on 'The Amazing Race' (Exclusive)
Russia and US will cooperate to build moon's first space station
Iraqi Kurds back independence in referendum
'Schengen dies, EU dies' Brussels faces tussle with Merkel and Macron over border controls
Close