Could UK government force Facebook to ban the ‘like’?

Josh Hall's picture

The UK government is doubling down its pressure on social media companies with a threat to ban the ‘like’ function for children.

The Information Commissioner has compiled a draft list of standards to which it may require social media platforms to conform in order to achieve what it says is better child safety online.

Banning access to the ‘like’ function for children is included on the list, along with a default ‘high privacy’ setting.

The Information Commissioner has also suggested that it wants platforms to stop using ‘nudge’ functions for children. These techniques are intended to encourage users to carry out specific actions, many of which include handing over more personal data.

The list, which is now being reviewed, is part of a wider effort on the part of the UK government to pressure social media companies into improving online safety standards for children.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “This is a connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives.

“We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do.”

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