Ofcom appoint online safety head

UK media watchdog Ofcom has appointed Anna-Sophie Harling as its head of online safety.

The news comes after the UK government proposed new legislation that will give Ofcom increased power to regulate BigTech.

Under the new Online Safety Bill, intended to help safeguard young people and “clamp down on racist abuse online”, Ofcom will be able to fine technology companies up to £18 million, or ten per cent of annual turnover, if they fail to deliver a duty of care.

Harling will have authority for implementing the new bill, which will come into effect later this year if voted in by Parliament.

The executive is set to take up the position next week, stepping down from her current position on Ofcom’s content board.

Harling is currently managing director for Europe at NewsGuard Technologies, a company that rates the journalistic credibility of news and information websites and monitors misinformation online.

"Legislation will enable us to introduce meaningful transparency where it has been lacking and empower Ofcom to hold platforms to account,” said Harling.

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