11 October 2023

Letter to video-sharing platforms regarding the crisis in Israel and Gaza

Today we've written to UK-established video-sharing platforms (VSPs) about the increased risk of their users encountering harmful content stemming from the crisis in Israel and Gaza, and the need to protect users from such content.

Here is the letter in full:

To UK-established video-sharing platforms,

The fast-developing crisis in Israel and Gaza has increased the risk that users are exposed to potentially harmful content on video-sharing platforms.

As you are aware, under Ofcom’s current regulation, video-sharing platforms that fall within Ofcom’s jurisdiction are required to put in place measures that are appropriate to protect the general public from terrorist videos and video material that incites hatred or violence, and to protect children from video material that may cause them harm.

We therefore expect platforms to ensure their systems and processes are effective in anticipating and responding to the potential spread of harmful video material stemming from the developing crisis.

We are encouraged by the proactive communication and crisis mitigation planning we have already seen from some platforms, and we will be maintaining an ongoing dialogue with all regulated companies as the situation develops.

As we look ahead to the Online Safety Bill receiving Royal Assent, we also expect future regulated platforms to similarly assess and mitigate risks to their platform, in order to protect users from online harm.

Gill Whitehead