03:22 GMT +322 August 2019
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    Riverside House, Bankside, London. Home of OFCOM offices

    UK Gov't Says Considering Empowering Media Watchdog With Censoring Social Media Content

    CC BY 2.0 / Jim Linwood / Riverside House, Bankside - London
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK government is considering plans to empower media watchdog Ofcom with regulating content on social media, a spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said on Monday.

    "The directive proposed a number of appropriate measures to protect minors and the general public from harmful content. The government has proposed that Ofcom is given interim powers to regulate video-sharing platform services and ensure they comply with minimum standards set out in the AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) by the transposition deadline - 19 September 2020. We are currently consulting on this approach", the DCMS spokesperson said, as quoted by the Sky News broadcaster.

    The AVMSD is an EU guideline aimed at coordination of national laws for online media content.

    However, after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the bloc, which is now due to happen in less than three months, London may adopt its own legislation with a scope wider that the AVMSD, as well as create a new media watchdog to replace Ofcom, the spokesperson added.

    In July, Ofcom fined RT 200,000 pounds for "serious failures to comply with our broadcasting rules", claiming it did not preserve "due impartiality" in seven shows broadcast between March and April 2018.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted on the matter, calling Ofcom’s decision to penalise the RT broadcaster an "act of direct censorship", adding it was part of a wider anti-Russian campaign.

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