Amendment 4

Part of Online Safety Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Kidron Baroness Kidron Crossbench 5:45, 25 April 2023

I will speak to a couple of the amendments in this group. First, small is not safe, and you cannot necessarily see these platforms in isolation. For example, there is an incel group that has only 4,000 active users, but it posts a great deal on YouTube and has 24.2 million users in that context. So we have to be clear that small and safe are not the same thing.

However, I am sympathetic to the risk-based approach. I should probably have declared an interest as someone who has given money to Wikipedia on several occasions to keep it going. I ask the Minister for some clarity on the systems and processes of the Bill, and whether the risk profile of Wikipedia—which does not entice you in and then follow you for the next six months once you have looked at something—is far lower than something very small that gets hold of you and keeps on going. I say that particularly in relation to children, but I feel it for myself also.

Finally, to the noble Lords who are promoting this group of amendments I say that I would be very supportive if they could find some interventions that simplify the processes companies have to do in the early stages to establish levels of risk, and then we can get heavy on the mitigation of harm. That is something upon which we all agree; if we could find a very low bar of entry, check whether there is harm and then escalate, I believe that would be something we could all work on together.