Clause 21 - Record-keeping and review duties

Part of Online Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 13 December 2022.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 4:15, 13 December 2022

Specifically on the issue that was just raised, there were two written ministerial statements on the Online Safety Bill. The first specifically said that an amendment would

“require the largest platforms to publish summaries of their risk assessments for illegal content and material that is harmful to children, to allow users and empower parents to clearly understand the risks presented by these services and the approach platforms are taking to children’s safety”.—[Official Report, 29 November 2022; Vol. 723, c. 31WS.]

Unless I have completely missed an amendment that has been tabled for this Committee, my impression is that that amendment will be tabled in the Lords and that details will be made available about how exactly the publishing will work and which platforms will be required to publish.

I would appreciate it if the Minister could provide more clarity about what that might look like, and about which platforms might have to publish their assessments. I appreciate that that will be scrutinised in the Lords but, to be fair, this is the second time that the Bill has been in Committee in the Commons. It would be helpful if we could be a bit more sighted on what exactly the Government intend to do—meaning more than the handful of lines in a written ministerial statement—because then we would know whether the proposal is adequate, or whether we would have to ask further questions in order to draw it out and ensure that it is published in a certain form. The more information the Minister can provide, the better.