Amendment 10

Part of Online Safety Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 6:45, 25 April 2023

My Lords, I hesitated to speak to the previous group of amendments, but I want to speak in support of the issue of risk that my noble friend Lady Kidron raised again in this group of amendments. I do not believe that noble Lords in the Committee want to cut down the amount of information and the ability to obtain information online. Rather, we came to the Bill wanting to avoid some of the really terrible harms promoted by some websites which hook into people’s vulnerability to becoming addicted to extremely harmful behaviours, which are harmful not only to themselves but to other people and, in particular, to children, who have no voice at all. I also have a concern about vulnerable people over the age of 18, and that may be something we will come to later in our discussions on the Bill.

It seems really important that we stick with the principle that if it is profoundly illegal in the offline world then we cannot allow it to be perpetrated in the online world. That compass needle has been behind some of the thinking of a lot of us in trying to grapple with this issue, which is very complex for those of us who are outside the world of tech and internet and coming new to it, but who have seen the results of some of those harms perpetrated. That is where the problem arises.