Social Media: Racial Discrimination

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle racism on social media platforms.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

We are clear that the online racist abuse is unacceptable. We must do all we can to tackle it. We are taking steps through the online harms regulatory framework to ensure that online abuse is addressed. Under a new legal duty of care, companies will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content, including illegal online abuse. All companies will need to take swift and effective action against such content.

Companies providing high-risk, high-reach services will also need to undertake regular risk assessments to identify legal but harmful material on their services. These companies will need to set clear terms and conditions which explicitly state what categories of legal but harmful material they accept (and do not accept) on their service. Companies will need to enforce these terms and conditions consistently and transparently and could face enforcement action if they do not. The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the regulatory framework, will be ready this year.

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