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UK Crackdown On Toxic, Violent Content Could Cost YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Huge Fines

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Social media giants YouTube, Facebook and Instagram stand to lose millions of dollars in fines and even risk suspension in the UK, if they fail to remove toxic online videos.

Under the new rules, the tech companies will be fined up to 5% of their global revenue for content that "includes or promotes violence, child abuse or pornography," according to CNET.

Parliament approved the new rules earlier this summer.

"These new rules are an important first step in regulating video-sharing online, and we'll work closely with the Government to implement them," said an Ofcom spokesman in a statement. "We also support plans to go further and legislate for a wider set of protections, including a duty of care for online companies towards their users."

The move calls for an expansion of government communications regulator Ofcom, which and will begin monitoring social media on September 19, 2020.

Small file-hosting sites, search engines, online forums also risk being fined, but the larger companies stand to lose the most.

For example, Facebook's annual revenue ending June 30, 2019 was $62.6 billion. Five percent would be more than $3 billion.

The European Union requires the so-called Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Should the UK leave the EU without a deal in October, the new rules may not be implemented.

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