Coming from the party that never objected over the topless page 3 pics in the non-age restricted tabloids (Sun, Star, Mirror, and formerly Sport; a social media campaign successfully harassed Murdoch into ditching it from the sun); is tough on ... calls for tough press regulation and refused to hold Leveson2; historically allowed cable and satellite TV channels to enjoy minimal content regulation (and accepted Murdoch's claims for Sky as a Luxembourg-centred operation thus beyond even much of that minimal restriction) leading to the likes of L!ve TV's Topless Darts On Ice, a degree of scepticism may be exercised over former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pushed out as his extraordinary links with Murdoch were exposed while he was in position to rule on his BSkyB bid - which only failed after the NoTW phone hacking scandal hit...
Now an extremely unpopular Health Secretary he has suggested that social media need tougher regulation to safeguard children from excessive screen time, cyber bullying, psychological distress from body shaming content, etc. He says their age rating and restriction systems are inadequate, which few would argue with.
It would be somewhat surprising for such a laissez-faire free market party to bring in legislation (statutory regulation) rather than seek a voluntary code, but then this is the party of music video age ratings (voluntary) and the 1980s broadcast ban, blocking the voice of 'terrorist sympathisers' (including MPs from Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland), plus the scrapping of the IBA and replacing with the ITC when the commercial (non-BBC) regulator refused Thatcher's demand to ban the Death on the Rock documentary which exposed state-sanctioned murder (coincidentally, the only ITV company to lose its franchise in the ITC auction system was Thames TV, producer of the doc)...
Governments from both major UK parties have shown a willingness to go beyond democratic norms in restricting the 'free press' (in the wider sense of media). Blair's Labour eviscerated the BBC for its coverage of Blair's 'dodgy dossier' used to justify the invasion of Iraq, and Blair oversaw a Communications Act that included what was generally referred to as the Murdoch Clause (deregulation of restrictions of ownership of TV companies).
With the Brexit shambles, funding crisis across government, notably health, the Windrush scandal and the PM's role in this, a spot of Daily Mail-friendly pro-censorship, traditional values campaigning is a good strategic move.
Given the habit of the press to breach it's Editors' Code guidelines on children (and the rest), it is curious that this sudden interest in social media isn't reflected in a similar interest in print media. That wouldn't be so Daily Mail-friendly.
Whatever the motivation, this is a sign of the pressure building to enhance the currently lax, minimal regulation of the social media giants, a disparity that is arguably unfair to the film distributors, press publishers and broadcast companies that all labour under more restrictive regulation and/or the economic challenges of the digital disruptors not just sucking up their advertising revenue but also profiting from their content with very low levels of compensation for this.
Safeguards for social media ‘inadequate’, says Jeremy Hunt https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/22/jeremy-hunt-social-media-firms-failing-safeguard-children-online?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger