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A new Online Safety Bill has been introduced in Parliament to better protect internet users whilst holding social media and tech firms accountable for content published on their platforms. The laws will apply to companies who host user generated content or allow UK users to talk to other people online.  These companies include; social media platforms, forums, messaging apps and search engines.

Some of the areas the bill proposes to tackle are:

  • Protecting children from accessing harmful content – such as exposure to self-harm, pornography, bulling and eating disorders
  • Platforms are required to take appropriate action if a child encounters harmful content or activity
  • Adult support – adults will have more control over what harmful content they view. Individuals who feel that content is damaging to their mental health could choose not to be presented with it
  • Ensuring robust 18+ age verification checks for sites that host pornography
  • Criminalising cyber flashing
  • Paid-for scam adverts found on social media and search engines addressed in a move to combat online fraud
  • All platforms in scope will need to remove all illegal material. Particularly that relating to child sexual exploitation, abuse and terrorism. They also have a duty to report and assist with law enforcement efforts in stamping out this content

To read the full press release click here

To read the factsheet click here

For further advice and information on how to keep children and young people safe online click here

 

Published March 2022

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