US social media bosses should be held legally responsible for the content on their platforms and could face arrest if they fail to rein in online harms, the UK’s minister for suicide prevention says.

Jackie Doyle-Price said the firms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube should be legally treated as publishers so they could be held to account for content such as self-harm, suicide or abuse.

“They are currently operating as if they are completely not responsible for the content that sits on their platforms. That isn’t an excuse we are going to have any more,” she said.

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