Online Harms — [Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 7th October 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office) 3:58 pm, 7th October 2020

I am grateful to all hon. Members who have taken part in this important debate, and not least to the Labour shadow spokesperson, my hon. Friend Chi Onwurah, for her important contribution. She again made use of her expertise in the powerful position she took.

I am also grateful to the Minister for her response. She gave what I felt was quite a personal commitment to get a grip of this. However, while we asked a lot of specific questions, we heard phrases like “range of tools”, “terms and conditions”, “misinformation and disinformation” and “is in hand”. It was not necessarily the absolute clarity we were asking for. Will social media companies have heard that response and realised that the transformation that we ask for is on its way? I am not sure they will, so I politely put it to the Minister that we very much hope that her personal contribution and the commitments she made are forthcoming, and that where she is afforded more time in the future, she will be able to share more with us.

I will end with a personal plea, echoing the sentiments of my hon. Friend Fleur Anderson and the hon. Members for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Dr Cameron) and for Upper Bann (Carla Lockhart). As a mother of a two-year-old boy, the clock is ticking, and I need assurances that, by the time he is old enough to use the internet, we will have got a grip of this. Others shared experiences of their children using it here and now, and they are witnessing the impact that it has on them. We also have responsibilities beyond that, as Members of Parliament and lawmakers.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 10(6)).