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EU committee calls for bans in order to keep children safe online

Rules that already apply to TV should be in place for services such as video-sharing platforms or streaming sites, committee MEPs say, in order to protect children against violence, hatred, terrorism and harmful advertising. As such, a proposition on banning advertising and product placement for tobacco, electronic cigarettes and alcohol in children’s TV programmes and video-sharing platforms has been put forward.

Culture Committee MEPs advocated tightening up the child protection provisions of EU rules on audiovisual media services and also those on advertising and promoting European audiovisual works. As such, video-sharing platforms will have to take corrective measures if users flag any content as inciting violence, hatred or terrorism, and would need to put in place an easy-to-use mechanism allowing users to report content and be informed of measures taken, MEPs agreed.

“One of our main priorities is the protection of minors. We proposed adapting some of the rules applying to programmes on television to internet services, such as rules on advertising, product placement and sponsorship. Certain advertising in programmes aimed at a children’s audience will be restricted, allowed only to a very limited extent or will be prohibited in general,” Rapporteur Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE) said, according to a press release.


Ideas shared by the MEPs still need to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole. Parliament will decide on 15 May in Strasbourg whether to open inter-institutional talks, for the final approval of the legislation, on the basis of the committee proposals.

John Beckett