Internet: Safety

(asked on 15th March 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of differentiating the regulatory response of illegal and legal but harmful content in the up-coming Online Harms Bill; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by
Caroline Dinenage Portrait
Caroline Dinenage
This question was answered on 23rd March 2021

The government is clear that the new regulatory framework must be targeted where the potential for impact is greatest. As announced in the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper, published in December, the Online Safety Bill will require all companies in scope to tackle illegal material on their services. All companies will also be required to assess the likelihood of children accessing their services and provide additional protections for them.

Only companies who provide services with the largest audiences and high-risk features will have a legal responsibility to take action with respect to content or activity on their services which is legal but harmful to adults.

We know that online behaviour or content which may not be illegal can still cause serious harm, but we are clear that requirements must be proportionate and reflect the importance of free expression online. An overly broad scope risks imposing disproportionate regulatory burdens and could dilute efforts to tackle the most serious illegal activity including CSEA and terrorist content.

Reticulating Splines