Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - The UK government is to present the much-discussed, long-awaited Online Safety Bill to Parliament today and, if approved, it will finally introduce wide-reaching legislation to tackle cyber-bullying, self-harm, fake news and other areas of internet concern.

It will also introduce new measures to stop children from accessing online pornography, including mandatory age verification systems.

Social networks, such as Meta's Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter, will be under deeper scrunity, with fines and even access blocked in the UK if they fail to remove harmful content when requested. Executives could even be imprisoned for non-compliance under the new guidelines.

Ofcom will take up regulatory control of the bill, with the power to request information from tech firms and interview bosses.

"Tech firms haven't been held to account when harm, abuse and criminal behaviour have run riot on their platforms," said Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries (as reported by the BBC).

Not all proposals in the bill are levied at companies, social media network users will also gain the "right to appeal" for posts they feel were unecessarily taken down. Users will also be able to complain to an ombudsman (Ofcom) about online platforms.

The bill will also make "cyber-flashing" illegal, whereby naked images are sent to a user without their consent.

Experience the future of search with Huawei's Petal Search

Writing by Rik Henderson.