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UK plans to regulate Netflix to “protect” viewers from “harmful content”

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Streaming platforms such as Netflix will be regulated by the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced.

The media watchdog has been given the authority to regulate streaming platforms and enforce rules so streaming platforms obey the same rules as traditional broadcasters.

In a white paper released Thursday, Ofcom will be tasked with assessing viewer guidance and age ratings in content in streaming platforms. Citing pseudoscience documentaries and health “misinformation,” the government said the regulation of streaming platforms is required to protect people from “harmful content.”

The government also wants streaming platforms to be legally required to provide and prioritize public service broadcasters (PSB) on-demand programs. It will also update the PSB quota, which dictates the minimum amount of PSB content broadcasters should offer.

“The UK’s TV and radio industries are world-renowned for their creativity, driven by exceptional talent that is delivering ground-breaking public service programming,” Dorries said.

“Set against the backdrop of the digital transformation of our viewing habits, today’s plans will revamp decades-old laws to help our public service broadcasters compete in the internet age and usher in a new golden age for British TV and radio.

“This will provide jobs and growth in the future along with the content we all love.”

In a statement, Netflix, whose value has tanked 70% this year alone, expressed support for the proposals, saying: “As we’ve previously said, we are supportive of measures to update the legal framework and bring our service in the UK under Ofcom’s jurisdiction.

“We look forward to reviewing the White Paper’s other proposals and continuing to engage with the Government on their plans.”

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