£1.4 million social media hub to tackle online content

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that the new £1.38 million government funded social media hub will be fully operational at the end of May.

Chairing the latest Serious Violence Taskforce, Javid said that the new 17-strong team of police staff and officers will be tasked with disrupting and removing overt and covert gang-related online content.

The Taskforce heard from senior leaders from Google and Facebook on the action they are taking to protect vulnerable users from harmful content, including videos promoting violence, following the recent launch of the Online Harms White Paper which proposes a new statutory duty of care on social media companies.

Javid said: “Social media is increasingly being used as a platform to incite violence, promote gang culture and legitimise the use of knives. I will not let this continue. Tech firms have been making progress in tackling this harmful content, but more needs to be done. Our Online Harms White Paper will ensure they have a legal duty to protect their users and by meeting routinely, in forums like the Serious Violence Taskforce, we can continue to hold these companies to account.

“But we also need the strongest possible law enforcement response. The national police social media hub will ensure a team of dedicated officers are identifying and taking action against gang-related content.”

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