The Law and Business of Social Media
May 08, 2020 - European Union, Influencer Marketing, Cyberbullying

Social Links: Online censorship in China; Florida legislation to thwart gang activity online; influencers criticized for breaking quarantine rules

China’s “internet police,” who coordinate online censorship, have become especially busy since the coronavirus outbreak.

Inspired by homicides that were precipitated by social media posts created by one group of teenagers to incite another, a Florida bill would allow law enforcement to charge juveniles with a misdemeanor for posting photos of themselves with firearms online.

In an effort to control the proliferation of “a broad range of online harms”—from cyberbullying to child exploitation—the UK government has chosen the communications watchdog Ofcom as its first pick for enforcing its plan requiring platforms to take “reasonable” measures to protect their users from those harms.

Two-and-a-half years after the EU initiated an optional code of conduct on online hate speech, the percentage of flagged content that gets reviewed within 24 hours by the platforms that have opted in has risen considerably.

Unlike the rest of the European Union, which has adopted an opt-in code of conduct to address the online hate-speech problem, Germany is proposing legislation that would impose hefty fines on social media platforms that fail to report illegal content such as posts that are related to terrorism or qualify as racial incitement. Read how much they risk having to pay.

As the demand for “aspirational” influencers gives way to a desire for “authenticity,” influencers who chronicled their COVID-19 coping efforts drew ire for privileged behaviors including fleeing town to sit out the quarantine in vacation towns where they risk spreading the virus.