Video-sharing platform (VSP) regulation

01 June 2021

Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are a type of online video service which allow users to upload and share videos with the public.

Since 1 November 2020, UK-established VSPs must comply with new rules around protecting users from harmful content.

The main purpose of the new regulatory regime is to protect users who engage with VSPs from the risk of viewing harmful content. Providers must have in place appropriate measures to protect under-18s from material which might impair their physical, mental or moral development; and to protect the general public from content constituting criminal offences relating to terrorism; child sexual abuse material; and racism and xenophobia, and material likely to incite violence or hatred. Services will also need to make sure standards around advertising are met.

The statutory framework sets out a list of measures which providers must consider taking, as appropriate, to secure the required protections.

We are consulting on draft guidance for providers on the regulatory requirements. This covers the measures providers can use to protect users from harmful material and how these might be implemented effectively. The draft guidance also considers the definitions of harmful material and the types of content that are likely to be caught. Advertising-specific requirements are not covered by this guidance and are being consulted on separately.

The consultation document sets out additional information about the draft guidance, including the evidence we have relied upon to support the guidance, and some of the research Ofcom has conducted and commissioned.

Any stakeholders with questions about Ofcom’s regulation of VSPs should email VSPRegulation@ofcom.org.uk

Notify a service to Ofcom

We have published guidance on who needs to notify a service to Ofcom. This guidance is intended to help providers self-assess whether their services meet the definition of a VSP, and whether their service falls within UK jurisdiction.

You can notify a service to Ofcom by submitting a notification form online. Please refer to the guidance when completing the form.