Members: Twitter

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Independent, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the steps taken by Twitter in response to complaints made by the Parliamentary authorities on abuse or threats made to hon. Members on that social media platform.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

In 2017 the former Prime Minister commissioned the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Review of Intimidation in Public Life. Government is acting on the Committee’s recommendations, as set out in the Government’s response to the report, which was published in March 2018.

We are clear that we expect companies to do substantially more to keep their users safe and counter online abuse, particularly where this abuse is illegal. The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. We intend to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, to ensure companies have appropriate systems and processes in place to deal with harmful content on their services to keep their users safe. Compliance with this duty of care will be overseen by an independent regulator, which will have a range of enforcement powers.

Government has also asked the Law Commission to conduct a second phase of its review of the legal framework around abusive and offensive communications online. This will make specific recommendations for legal reform and is due to report in early 2021.

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