Billed as a “right to innocence” initiative and in the run-up to the General Election, Theresa May has proposed forcing social media giants to delete the details of users stored before the age of 18 if they request it. The proposal will affect social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter and would entail young people starting on a “blank slate” once they turn 18.
May has also threatened social media companies with new taxes if they do not remove material relating to pornography, terrorism and so-called “hate speech”. May said that the internet has developed quicker than society’s ability to fully respond to the challenges it generates and the proposals mooted by May were a way to redress the balance and make Britain the “safest place in the world for people to be online”.
In response, however, Liberal Democrat former minister Alastair Campbell said: “Government and technology companies must do more to find a real solution to problematic content online but having a government agency deciding what constitutes acceptable free speech isn't it.”