Meta and Microsoft can’t self-regulate their metaverses, UK regulator warns

UK regulator warns Meta and Microsoft against self-regulating metaverses; they must adhere to the proposed Online Safety Bill or face fines up to 10% of global revenues. The bill aims to combat harmful online content, especially safeguarding children, following a tragic incident.

Melanie Dawes, the UK’s telecom regulator CEO, stated that big tech in the metaverse would not be allowed to self-regulate their virtual worlds and would instead need to comply with the country’s proposed Online Safety Bill. The proposed bill introduces heavy fines of up to 10% of annual global revenues. Furthermore, senior executives of those companies could face criminal charges in case of extreme violations.

The Online Safety Bill is a proposed legislation drafted to prevent the online sharing of harmful content. The law, yet to be approved, would require companies to create a set of strict measures to address harmful content. The legislation focuses particularly on protecting children, as it was proposed after a teen in the UK committed suicide after being exposed to self-harm-related content on social media.