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Wikipedia seeks exclusion from UK Online Safety Bill for community moderation

Rebecca MacKinnon, a leading member of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, has called for an exception for the online encyclopedia with regard to the UK’s Online Safety Bill. She has called on legislators to ensure that the bill differentiates between centralized content moderation on platforms like Facebook, and community volunteer moderation that’s found on places like Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia globe on a white and black background

Earlier today, Neowin reported that the government has caved to rebels’ demands and could be adding harsher measures – jail terms – to the bill. Previously, punishments were merely fines that hit a company’s global revenues. The digital regulator Ofcom would be in charge of enforcing the new rules in the Online Safety Bill.

In response to the concerns raised by the Wikimedia Foundation, the government said that the bill has been designed to find a balance between tackling online harm without adding unnecessary burdens on low-risk tech firms. It said that Ofcom will be proportionate when enforcing the rules and will focus its efforts where the risk of harm is highest.

While it would probably be a good idea to amend the bill to take into consideration the concerns raised by the Wikimedia Foundation, which the government likely agrees with, it sounds as though the chance of Wikipedia getting into trouble as a result of the new rules is pretty slim.

Source: BBC News

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