The government is considering creating a regulator for the internet, according to reports.
A White Paper outlining the proposal is due for release in the coming months and Buzzfeed News reports it will include an outline for an Ofcom-style approach, with guidelines on how websites and social networks should monitor their users and content.
According to the site, websites could be issued “takedown times” for removing illegal hate speech, while adverts for food products that are high in salt, fat or sugar could be restricted.
Social networks, they say, will have to verify the age of users. Punishments could also be given to ones that do not remove terror-related content or child abuse images fast enough.
The government has previously encouraged internet companies to take action on these issues on a voluntary basis.
A spokesperson for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told HuffPost UK: ”This winter we will publish a White Paper, setting out new legislation to tackle the full range of online harms and set clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep UK citizens safe.
“We are considering all options, including what legislation will be necessary and whether a regulator is needed.”
Releasing a report in July, a cross-party committee investigating “fake news” made a series of recommendations, calling for numerous laws to be updated.
Among their recommendations were calls for stricter guidelines on political adverts on social networking sites and greater protection for personal data.