Clause 15 - Duties to protect content of democratic importance

Part of Online Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Kim Leadbeater Kim Leadbeater Labour, Batley and Spen 4:30 pm, 7th June 2022

The Minister makes a really valid point and is right about the impact on the individual. The point I am trying to make with the amendments is that this is about the impact on the democratic process, which is why I think it fits in with clause 15. It is not about how individuals feel; it is about the impact that that has on behaviours, and about putting the emphasis and onus on platforms to decide what is of democratic importance. In the evidence we had two weeks ago, the witnesses certainly did not feel comfortable with putting the onus on platforms. If we were to have a code of practice, we would at least give them something to work with on the issue of what is of democratic importance. It is about the impact on democracy, not just the harm to the individual involved.