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(Pocket-lint) - The UK government is planning legislation to tackle the internet's "Wild West".

Social media firms will be targeted in order to make internet interaction safer for children and young people, as culture secretary Matt Hancock promised to make Britain the "safest place in the world" to be online.

However, at present there is little information on what that actually means or what laws might be introduced.

Previous suggestions and proposals include hefty fines for social media firms, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they are unable to prevent online harm to their users.

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It is reported that a new online code of practice will be drawn up, which the companies must comply with or face levies. This will include bullying, intimidating or humiliating content.

"People increasingly live their lives through online platforms, so it’s more important than ever that people are safe and parents can have confidence they can keep their children from harm," said Hancock, as reported by the Guardian.

"The measures we're taking forward today will help make sure children are protected online and balance the need for safety with the great freedoms the internet brings, just as we have to strike this balance offline."

Currently, the measures are under consultation, with online safety charities and the tech sector involved and invited for talks. Unfortunately, many of the social media giants have turned down the opportunity to meet with the government, with Hancock revealing to the BBC that, of 14 companies invited, only four have so far accepted.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 21 May 2018.