Social media still “shamefully far” from tackling illegal content effectively

02 May 2017

Government report says “nowhere near enough is being done”


Illegal and dangerous content including hate speech, sexual images of children and terror recruitment videos are not being removed quickly enough by Social media firms.

 According to a Home Affairs Select Committee report, the firms are “shamefully far” from tackling the problem and there were "repeated examples of social media companies failing to remove illegal content when asked to do so".

The cross-party committee took evidence from Facebook, Twitter and Google - the parent company of YouTube - for its report, and said the Government should consider making the sites help pay for police content.

MPs said it was "unacceptable" that social media companies relied on users to report content and expected the police - funded by the taxpayer - to bear the costs of keeping them clean of extremism.

The report said the largest firms were "big enough, rich enough and clever enough" to sort the problem out, and that it was "shameful" that they had failed to use the same ingenuity to protect public safety as they had to protect their own income.

The report's recommendations include:

  • The government should consult on requiring social media firms to contribute to the cost of the police's counter-terrorism internet referral unit

  • It should also consult on "meaningful fines" for companies which failed to remove illegal content within a strict timeframe, highlighting proposals in Germany which could see firms fined up to £44m and individual executives £5m

  • Social media companies review urgently their community standards and how they are being interpreted and implemented.


    To read the BBC’s full  report on the report findings visit:

    To read the Home Affairs Select Committee report visit:



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