Tech giants including Facebook and TikTok will be fined billions for failing to protect users from vile content online

TECH giants will be fined billions if they fail to protect users from vile content online.

Social media firms must remove sex abuse images, terror films and suicide sites under “duty of care” laws.

Companies including Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter must also “do far more” to shield kids from grooming, bullying and porn, ministers say.

Those failing to act could be fined a tenth of their global annual turnover — amounting to billions for the biggest firms.

The platforms of worst offenders could be blocked across the UK.

In a watering down of original plans, tech firm bosses would not be prosecuted after a first offence but could be later.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom will be in charge of enforcing the crackdown under which firms must show they have assessed the risk from “legal but harmful” content which could put their users in danger.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said yesterday: “Britain is setting the global standard for safety online with the most comprehensive approach yet to online regulation.”

Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC, said last night: “This is a landmark moment.

“For too long children have been exposed to disgraceful abuse and harm online.”

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