Online Harms White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:31 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:31 pm, 8th April 2019

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he says and, if I may say so, his help and his contribution during his time in the Department. I am privileged to lead in developing this piece of work; he deserves a share of the credit too, and he is right. This is not a challenge to freedom of speech. As we were discussing earlier, if we do not make the online environment safer for everyone, whoever they are, we will be damaging freedom of speech, not enhancing it. It is important that we all recognise that this is a proposal to apply the same levels of activity, control and restriction to the online world that already exist everywhere else. Our freedom of speech thrives well in this place and elsewhere within the confines of the law. The same will be true online.

In relation to my hon. Friend’s point about education and how it might be funded, it will of course be open to the regulator—we will encourage it to consider this—to spend some of its revenue on education, which we think is a key component of the White Paper.