social media: Britain weighs new consultation on social media impact on teens

Britain could look at further measures to protect young teenagers from the risks of social media in the new year following the introduction of new online safety laws focused on children and the removal of illegal content, a minister said.

The Online Safety Act, which became law in October, requires platforms like Meta’s Instagram and Alphabet’s YouTube to strengthen controls around illegal content and age-checking measures.

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Major platforms including Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat require users to be at least 13 years old.

A Bloomberg report said the British government was studying a crackdown on social media access for children under the age of 16, including potential bans.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said on Friday that the government always sought to find a balance between important freedoms and putting parents in control.

“If there is a consultation at some point in the future, and as I say that’s speculation at this point, looking at how you can continue to protect minors as opposed to the freedom of the internet for adults is always something that a sensible government I think would look at,” he told Times Radio.

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