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UK lawmakers want to hold big tech responsible for unwanted dick pics

Stop sending dick pics, you heathens.

egg plant emoji dick pic
Image: KnowTechie

There is one concrete truth when it comes to existing online — men are the absolute worst. Being someone who identifies as cis-male, this isn’t a difficult observation (and if it is for you fellow men, then you need to reassess yourself).

One online action has helped further this accurate perception more than any other — the sending of an unsolicited dick pic. Now, lawmakers in the UK are hoping they can find a way to hold social media tech companies somewhat responsible for this crude communication technique.

There are plenty of psychological studies to attempt to explain why men terrorize women’s inboxes with a constant stream of dick pics. And that’s not including their litany of general threats and harassment. A good part of the time their motives are based on some sort of delusional hope for reciprocation. Legislating this behavior poses as many challenges as understanding it.

The news here is that a committee of politicians updated their Online Safety Bill that seeks to regulate harmful behaviors online by somehow holding big tech companies accountable. The bill admits that the most put upon demographic are women and girls online It doesn’t, however, really lay out a clear path to holding any entity responsible.

cyberflashing uk laws for dick pics
The UK’s Online Safety Bill (Screenshot: KnowTechie)

Rather, the bill presents some political language as a path to figuring out how such a law would be enforced. It states big tech platforms would “have the duty to mitigate and effectively manage the risk of harm to individuals from cyber flashing and remove unsolicited nude images from their platform quickly.”

Once again big tech is leaving self-regulation to lawmakers instead of reading the freaking room and coming up with applicable solutions. Lawmakers in both the UK and US have proven again and again they barely understand any technology more complex than a waffle maker made in 1950.

Social media technology is well over a decade old at this point, so understanding them shouldn’t be a complex issue, neither should self-regulation on the part of the tech companies.

At least one social company is making strides. A Twitter plugin called SafeDM already attempted to block dick pics through a direct message filter launched last year, but this plugin appears to no longer be available.

One would guess it’s because Twitter is now working on its own baked-in solution that would remove unwanted images.”

Hopefully, more tech companies (Facebook mostly) will implement something similar in the future to prevent lawmakers from having to figure out first how tech companies operate and secondly, how to enforce any regulation.

It would be great for the internet community at large if men just stopped being horrible online.

But since that’s never going to happen, we have to just hope that lawmakers can fully grasp the inner workings of big tech in order to come up with some sort of regulatory enforcement.

That will at least make it more difficult to get away with both sending unsolicited dick pics and social platforms allowing it.

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Back at it. Writing tech news/opinion so Josiah doesn't slap me (or so he will, depends on the day). Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral.

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