Insights Ofcom proposes new guidance to help video-sharing platforms protect users against harmful content


Ofcom says that a third of people who use online video-sharing services have come across hateful content in the last three months, according to a new study. The news comes as Ofcom proposes new guidance for video-sharing platforms (VSPs), setting out practical steps to protect users from harmful material.

VSPs are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos with other members of the public. They allow people to engage with a wide range of content and social features.

Under laws introduced by Parliament last year, VSPs established in the UK must take measures to protect under-18s from potentially harmful video content; and all users from videos likely to incite violence or hatred, as well as certain types of criminal content. Ofcom’s job is to enforce these rules and hold VSPs to account.

Ofcom’s draft guidance is designed to help these companies understand what is expected of them under the new rules, and to explain how they might meet their obligations in relation to protecting users from harm. Ofcom is inviting all interested parties to comment on the proposed guidance. The deadline for responses is 2 June 2021. To read Ofcom’s news release in full and for a link to the proposed guidance, click here.