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Websites hosting porn in UK told to enforce age checks or face fines

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Websites hosting porn in UK told to enforce age checks or face fines

UK websites and apps that host pornography and adult material – such as OnlyFans and PocketStars – must put in place strict age-verification processes or face severe financial penalties, the communications watchdog has said.

Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK – including TikTok, Snapchat, Vimeo and Twitch – face fines of £250,000 or 5% of applicable turnover, whichever is greater, for breaches of regulations, fresh guidance from Ofcom states.

Platforms that have under-18 users but do not specialise in pornographic material or which ban adult content under the terms of their service, such as TikTok and Snapchat, will still be expected to put measures in place to protect younger users from harmful content, such as age-estimation techniques.

Age estimation refers to methods that can estimate a person’s age, usually by algorithmic means.

Melanie Dawes, Ofcom’s chief executive, said the likes of TikTok and Snapchat could not address the new rules by setting up youth-specific platforms and had to focus on their main services.

She said: “It is not, in our view, any good to introduce a youth site like a young Instagram … you have got to address the issues on the main site.”

The government has stated its intention for the VSP regime in the UK to be superseded by rules in the online safety bill undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny in parliament.

Ofcom enforces the current regulations but unlike its broadcasting work, it cannot assess individual videos.

Instead, the laws focus on the measures providers must take to protect their users – and afford companies flexibility in how they do that.

The guidance says the providers should:

Have clear, visible terms and conditions which prohibit uploading content relating to terrorism, child sexual abuse material or racism and enforce them effectively.

Implement tools that allow users to flag harmful videos easily. They should signpost how quickly they will respond, and be open about any action taken.
Restrict access to adult sites. VSPs that host pornographic material should have robust age verification in place, to protect under-18s from accessing such material.

Ofcom said it also expected VSPs to put in place registration processes and subsequent checks that are strong enough to significantly reduce the risk of child sexual abuse material being uploaded and shared on their platforms.

Dawes said: “Online videos play a huge role in our lives now, particularly for children. But many people see hateful, violent or inappropriate material while using them.

“The platforms where these videos are shared now have a legal duty to take steps to protect their users. So we’re stepping up our oversight of these tech companies, while also gearing up for the task of tackling a much wider range of online harms in the future.”

YouTube and Facebook are expected to fall under the Irish regulatory regime, which will regulate on behalf of EU member states. But those sites will come under the scope of the online safety bill, currently being scrutinised by UK MPs and peers, once it becomes law. The bill will impose a duty of care on internet companies to protect users from harmful content.

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Business

Adopting CNG can reduce Nigeria’s inflation – FG

The Nigerian government has said that successfully adopting Compressed Natural Gas can reduce inflation, which soared to 33.69 per cent in April 2024.

The Programme Director of the Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Pi-CNG, Michael Oluwagbemi, disclosed this during a one-day South-South and South-East stakeholders’ engagement meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He noted that Nigerians can realize between 40 to 50 per cent savings from petrol upon adopting CNG.

“It can reduce inflation. It is cheaper. You can realize between 40% and 50% savings from patrol. This is good for Nigeria, and it is safer.

“It is 18 times safer than petrol and diesel. It is cleaner and safer for the environment,” he said.

He added that Nigeria would save about $2.5 billion by converting every one million vehicles to CNG.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu asked all federal government ministries, departments and agencies to procure CNG buses.

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Nigeria won’t need to import fuel by June — Dangote

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, announced that by next month, Nigeria will no longer need to import gasoline due to the operational plans of the Dangote Refinery.

Speaking as a panellist at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Dangote highlighted that the refinery, which has already commenced supplying diesel and aviation fuel in Nigeria, has the capacity to fulfil the diesel and petrol needs of West Africa and the aviation fuel requirements for the entire African continent.

Dangote emphasised, “Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline, and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of a litre.”

Highlighting how far the oil company has come, Dangote expressed how they are focused on ensuring that the continent will depend less on imports in the near future.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa, and diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa. We have enough aviation fuel to give to the entire continent and also export some to Brazil and Mexico,” he said.

“Today, our polypropylene and our polyethene will meet the entire demand of Africa, and we are doing base oil, which is like engine oil; we are doing linear benzyl, which is a raw material to produce detergent. We have 1.4 billion people in the population; nobody is producing that in Africa.

“So, all the raw materials for our detergents are imported. We are producing that raw material to make Africa self-sufficient.

“As I said, give us three or a maximum of four years, and Africa will not, I repeat, not import any more fertiliser from anywhere.

“We will make Africa self-sufficient in potash, phosphate, and urea; we are at three million metric tonnes, and in the next twenty months, we will be at six million metric tonnes of urea, which is the entire capacity of Egypt. We are getting there.”

Dangote recalled how his dream for further investment in Africa as well as ending fuel importation in Africa has culminated in what is now one of the biggest refineries in the world.

“For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market in the US—you know, Google, Microsoft, and the rest—we didn’t participate; we took all our money and invested in Africa.

“We had this dream just about five years ago, and we said we wanted to move from five billion dollars in revenue to thirty billion dollars in revenue, and we made it happen. It is possible and now we have made it happen and now we have finished our refinery.

“Our refinery is quite big; it is something that we believe that Africa needs. If you look at the whole continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products, which is a tragedy.

“They are only Algeria and Libya. The rest are all importers. So, we need to change and make sure that we don’t just go and produce raw materials; we should also produce finished products and create jobs.

Speaking further, the African richest man said, “One of the things we also need to know as Africans is that we produce raw materials and export them when you export raw materials and somebody now keeps importing things into your continent and dumping goods. what you are importing is poverty and exporting jobs. So, we have to change that narrative.”

“We just commissioned in February, and now we are producing jet fuel, diesel, and by next month, gasoline.

“What that would do is that we would be taking most of the African crude that is being produced and also be able to supply not only Nigeria because our capacity is too big for Nigeria, but it would also supply West Africa, Central Africa, and also South Africa.

“We have 650,000 barrels per day, 1 million metric tonnes of polypropylene, and 590,000 metric tonnes of carbon black; those are the raw materials—ink, dyes and co.

“We are expanding more. This is the first phase and we are going out to the next phase, which will start early next year.”(tribune)

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Customs FX rate for import duties rises to N1,530/$

The foreign exchange (FX) rate for import duties has been adjusted by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to N1,530 per dollar.

This was adopted on Friday, May 17, representing a 6.13 percent increase compared to the N1,441.58 adopted on May 6.

The NCS always adopts FX rates recommended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for import duties based on trading activities in the official FX market

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