Internet: Bullying

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd December 2015.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions she has had with internet service providers on preventing sexual abuse, cyber bullying and social media abuse of young people on the internet; and whether that industry adheres to a code of good practice on such matters.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

I co-chair the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), along with from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Home Office and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety and Security. UKCCIS is a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia, and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online. The four main internet service providers are executive members of the UKCCIS Board and the Board regularly discuss the best ways to prevent all forms of online abuse.

Under the UKCCIS, the UK’s Communications regulator, Ofcom, is leading a working group to develop best practice guidance for providers of social media for emerging social media platforms to encourage responsible practice from industry, and ensure children using their services are able to do so in a safe and protected way. This guidance will be delivered shortly. All the key players are round the table in this important collaborative project, including Twitter, Facebook, Google, Ask.FM, MindCandy and Microsoft.

The government will continue to work closely with social media companies to make sure they are committed to protecting children who use their platforms.

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