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Social media firms should face criminal prosecutions and unlimited fines if they do not protect young users, says NSPCC

SOCIAL media firms should face criminal prosecutions and unlimited fines if they do not protect their young users, the NSPCC today demands.

The charity is publishing proposals for a new law to place a statutory duty of care on tech giants like Facebook.

Alamy The NSPCC is calling for urgent legislation to protect children using social media platforms like Facebook

Under the blueprint, companies would be prosecuted if they failed to protect kids from sex abuse, self-harm and bullying online.

Named bosses at the companies could be held personally liable and banned as directors for up to 15 years under the proposed legal crackdown.

While the companies could be slapped with fines totalling millions of pounds.

Andy Burrows, from the NSPCC told The Daily Telegraph ministers must take action.

He said: “Unless we have regulation that is capable of protecting children in the way we know is necessary, then we will see further tragedies with children coming to harm.”

Ministers are facing a flood of demands to impose a legal crackdown on tech giants in the wake of the tragic death of Molly Russell.

The schoolgirl, 14, killed herself after viewing scores of self harm images on Instagram.

The Children’s Commissioner, the Chief Medical Officer and a string of MPs have all called for a new duty of care.

Last week, Instagram announced it is banning all graphic self harm images on its site in the wake of Molly’s death.

They made the announcement after being hauled in for talks with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who demanded tougher action.

Andy Burrows of the NSPCC says more children will come to harm if action is not taken to protect children using social media
Press Association Images The Government is under pressure to crack down on tech giants following the tragic death of schoolgirl Molly Russell
Molly Russell's dad says social media contributed towards his daughters death on This Morning
PA:Press Association Health Secretary recently held meetings with Instagram, which has now banned graphic self-harm images on its site

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