The UK’s Conservative Party wants to introduce a ‘Twitter Tax’

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  • In the run up to the UK’s general election, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 8th June 2017, the ruling party in Westminster has published its Conservative Party Manifesto...and revealed that it plans to introduce a new levy that will be specifically aimed at social media platforms.

    Needless to say, the proposal has instantly been dubbed the ‘Twitter Tax’.

    Drawing a comparison with the gambling industry in the UK, the manifesto suggests social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook will be charged a levy that would then be used to pay for regulating the industry and counteracting some of the ‘harms’ the internet in general (and presumably those social media platforms in particular) risk causing: "We will also create a power in law for government to introduce an industry-wide levy from social media companies and communication service providers to support awareness and preventative activity to counter internet harms, as is already the case with the gambling industry."

    The Tory manifesto also preempts potential criticism of its new Twitter Tax, arguing that it is right that the UK government should regulate technology and the internet because it has a duty of care to citizens in the UK: "Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.

    "While we can not create this framework alone, it is for government, not private companies, to protect the security of people and ensure the fairness of the rules by which people and businesses abide. Nor do we agree that the risks of such an approach outweigh the potential benefits."

    The manifesto also indicates that the Conservative Party plans to introduce its own version of the EU’s “right to be forgotten” legislation, which in its current form will no longer apply to companies in the UK after Britain leaves the European Union.

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