Home Office written question – answered on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with social media and streaming platforms on the availability of violent gang and drug-related content to under 18s.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government is committed to delivering on the people’s priorities by tackling violent crime. We are clear that internet companies must go further and faster to tackle illegal content online. It is already an offence to incite, assist or encourage violence online.

We are proactively working with law enforcement agencies and meeting with social media companies to address a full range of online harms (including serious violence, gang and drug content online), as part of our wider aims set out in the Online Harms White Paper. The full Government response to the Online Harms White Paper will be published shortly. This?will set out our plans for a new legislative framework that will drive robust action to tackle the spread of illegal content online and to keep children safe.

The Government has invested significantly to tackle serious violence and county lines: £119million in 2020-21, including £20 million to tackle county lines drug dealing and £1.5million to fund the Social Media Hub, delivered by the Metropolitan Police Service. The Hub includes a dedicated team of police officers and staff to take action against harmful online material, focusing on investigative, disruption and enforcement work against online gang activity, as well as making referrals to social media companies so illegal and harmful content can be taken down.

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