New rules could see executives at tech companies that fail to protect vulnerable users from online harms being jailed.

  • Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary, will soon outline the new law.
  • A previous version of the Online Safety Bill stated that tech companies could be subject to large fines
  • Tech bosses who do not comply with the law could face harsher sentences

Social media executives could face jail time if they do not cooperate with regulators in protecting vulnerable users online under the updated legislation.

An earlier version of the Online Safety Bill, published last year, said tech firms could be fined huge amounts – potentially running into billions of pounds – if they failed to abide by a duty of care.

Ministers have resisted making their bosses responsible for the company’s failures.

Senior managers could now be charged with breaching the duty to care 

According to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, the new law will be outlined in the coming weeks amid increasing concern about companies like YouTube and Facebook failing to deal with harmful content.

It is understood that Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries will outline a more draconian law in the new few weeks to make senior managers personally liable should their company fail to take down harmful content

According to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, senior managers will be held personally responsible if their companies fail to remove harmful content.

Nick Clegg is the name of the legislation, since the former deputy prime Minister is currently vice president for global communications and international affairs at Facebook.

Concerned families and children’s charities have been calling for the prosecution of social media companies if they do not crackdown on self-harm.

Molly Russell was 14 years old when she took her own lives after viewing graphic self-harm photos on Instagram.

But, advocates of free speech fear that the risk of criminal prosecution might cause tech companies to restrict legitimate content, stifling public discourse on key issues.

Tech bosses could be held criminally liable if they fail to follow the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which examined the Bill in order to increase the exemption for news publications.

It is a major shift in Government policy. Previously, the Government had refused to criminally prosecute bosses for failing to protect their workplaces. 

Whitehall insiders said that it was Damocles’ sword hanging over their heads.

“But now, it will be in force.”