The Online Safety Act 2023

Jun 20, 2005
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Great news 👏The Online Safety Act was given the Royal Assent on 27 th October 2023. This new Law is designed to protect us from scams. Companies like Facebook , Google Instagram etc are now for the first time ever legally obliged to prevent and remove any material that may be a scam or fraudulent. Fines up to £18 million can be imposed by the Regulator. Hopefully for everyone the Internet will become a safer place for all.👍👍
 
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Nov 30, 2022
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A great idea in theory, however I can see all sorts of arguments forthcoming. Such as "We didn't know it was a scam until we were alerted to it, at which point we acted but we cannot be expected to vet every single post the instant it is put up" etc.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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A great idea in theory, however I can see all sorts of arguments forthcoming. Such as "We didn't know it was a scam until we were alerted to it, at which point we acted but we cannot be expected to vet every single post the instant it is put up" etc.
That’s just it. They said that before , now the boot is on the other foot!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Good idea, but not sure how they will be able to monitor it if over a million new ad posts are uploaded each day? The law can only react after a complaint has been raised, but by that time hundreds or thousands of people around the world have already been scammed. Prior to the scam actually happening, no offence will have been committed so no action can take place.
 
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I suspect those cheated may now have a statutory right for full reimbursement of the amount scammed. I haven’t studied the entire Act but am sure Which? will have a lot more to explain.
From the little I have read the fine is per each scam post!
Imagine all the jobs about to be created and work from home 😜
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I wonder if it is open to abuse? You get a mate to post a scam post, you respond and then claim you have been scammed and make a claim for reimbursement of money "lost"? It is very difficult to trace who posted a scam add so your mate will probably never be caught.

However I hope that the this new act makes companies put into place safeguards to prevent people posting scam ads by checking their credentials first if that is possible. However I wonder if banks should have some responsibility?

Either way at the end of the day, it is people that need to be more responsible and learn to use common sense and do a bit of research before getting involved with an unknown company offering the world on a platter. Maybe it should start in school from an early age?
 
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Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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While every attempt to bring some sort of accountability to quell the misinformation, scams and other anti-social behaviour is laudible, its never going to be a cure all.

Once the internet was made available to the general public and commercial companies it became a giant can opener and now the worms are out everywhere and they're never going to be able to be put back in the can.

The leading companies make too much money and have too much lobbying power. Any financial penalties are a joke compared to their earnings.

Its a big game of cat and mouse and the only winners are the shareholders and lawyers.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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It will be interesting to see who will end up liable. There are a number of groups that sell stuff moderated by individuals. Indeed we have a market place on here. So who is responsible for preventing scamme; moderators or Facebook/ PC.
( Parksy and Sam hurriedly composing resignation letters? 😀😲)
mel
 
Nov 16, 2015
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When Wilko went into, administration or whatever, Mrs H decided to buy through FB a twin Airfryer for £9.95, plus £19.99 p&p. Two day later decided we had been caught up in the scam. Notified the bank and they stated we would have to wait 6 weeks before trying to get money back.
6 weeks later our bank refunded our money and in the meantime replaced the debit cards.
Learning curve. If it looks too good, BEWARE.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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It will be interesting to see who will end up liable. There are a number of groups that sell stuff moderated by individuals. Indeed we have a market place on here. So who is responsible for preventing scamme; moderators or Facebook/ PC.
( Parksy and Sam hurriedly composing resignation letters? 😀😲)
mel
I know of several instances where forum marketplaces experienced a new contributor who ripped-off other contributors by not sending the goods or claiming the goods never arrived - as far as I know the ripped-off members took the hit, not the forum publisher or moderators - for the record it wasn't this forum.
 
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The Daily Mail reported today that a test on Facebook Marketplace for a Volvo suggested that nine out of ten were scams. Essentially the scam level they were able to uncover was so high that it is almost beyond belief.
There example was a woman who was fooled into paying £1,500 for a 2021 Picanto and who ignored warnings from her bank when she tried to transfer money.
Facebook do make it clear that they do not monitor the site and give warnings as to this although I do not know if that will be sufficient. I assume their lawyers will be reading this to see what they may need to do.
 
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Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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I know of several instances where forum marketplaces experienced a new contributor who ripped-off other contributors by not sending the goods or claiming the goods never arrived - as far as I know the ripped-off members took the hit, not the forum publisher or moderators - for the record it wasn't this forum.
But if there is a change in the law as Dusty posted; will this situation change?
Mel
 
Jun 20, 2005
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But if there is a change in the law as Dusty posted; will this situation change?
Mel
It’s like the CRA 2015 Mel.
It took ages before the average person realised what a powerful tool we have .
The OSA 2023 is just waiting for someone to light the blue touch paper . The fines on the firms are significant . We shall see but clearly in the HMG two Houses it has been seen as a very important piece of legislation.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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The Daily Mail reported today that a test on Facebook Marketplace for a Volvo suggested that nine out of ten were scams. Essentially the scam level they were able to uncover was so high that it is almost beyond belief.
There example was a woman who was fooled into paying £1,500 for a 2021 Picanto and who ignored warnings from her bank when she tried to transfer money.
Facebook do make it clear that they do not monitor the site and give warnings as to this although I do not know if that will be sufficient. I assume their lawyers will be reading this to see what they may need to do.
Facebook could just dispense with the Marketplace if things got too tight legally. No great loss to mankind as there are other sites that could be used.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have now looked up the Government's web page about the act. It's not clear how far reaching it will be. The information on the .Gov page seems firmly aimed at social media sites, but the title of the act does include the word "Online" which could include anything on the www.

Whilst this thread seems to have focused on the scam side of things, the act has a much wider target, arguably the safety of vulnerable people.

In response to some other comments in this thread, I agree with the notion that individuals should take care to avoid being taken in by scams and other criminal activities and education from an early age can help, but there are vulnerable people who are less able to spot and avoid some of the very cleverly designed scams.

What the act is doing is to make the companies that make platforms available on the internet to take responsibility for what is actually on their platform. This should encourage a more thorough vetting process to prevent unsafe or illegal material from being made available.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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What the act is doing is to make the companies that make platforms available on the internet to take responsibility for what is actually on their platform. This should encourage a more thorough vetting process to prevent unsafe or illegal material from being made available.
I think the big issue would be policing it as it is not a scam until the scam happens and then it is too late. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted springs to mind, but at least it is a step forward.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I think the big issue would be policing it as it is not a scam until the scam happens and then it is too late. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted springs to mind, but at least it is a step forward.
Reading the official HMG paper is pretty hard going.The following link I believe summarises the situation very well explaining in simple English
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Thanks. A key sentence is "It will be some time before it is clear whether Ofcom has the capabilities to thoroughly enforce the obligations laid down in the Act."

Knowing the way compensation lawyers act, Ofcom probably will never have those capabilities as lawyers will probably keep Ofcom tied up in knots. Of course government funding is another issue.
 
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I haven't read the act, so I don't know the details, but if it wasn't to help protect the public who in your mind was it written for?
I don't know if it made the final law but there were bits in the bill outlawing encrypted messaging, bit of a blow for WhatsApp, and allowing government agency's to look into personal stuff online such as banking etc. There is more that I can't remember.
I'm my view much if it was originally written to remove individual privacy from government intrusion.
 
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I think the big issue would be policing it as it is not a scam until the scam happens and then it is too late. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted springs to mind, but at least it is a step forward.
Is it not a criminal act to plan a scam?

I don't know if it made the final law but there were bits in the bill outlawing encrypted messaging, bit of a blow for WhatsApp, and allowing government agency's to look into personal stuff online such as banking etc. There is more that I can't remember.
I'm my view much if it was originally written to remove individual privacy from government intrusion.
Well, that's a significant part of the problem. how can the authorities tell the difference between a genuine private message and a scammer?

If your not doing anything illegal then what's the problem? Granted its not a pleasant thought and I'd rather they wouldn't be able to, but it saves some poor souls from having their savings stolen or lives ruined.
 

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