Social Media: Harassment

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 18th March 2021.

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Photo of Claudia Webbe Claudia Webbe Independent, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will take steps with social media companies to tackle online abuse directed at supporters of the Indian farmers protests.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

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 new regulatory framework will require companies to address the risk of harm to users in the UK, no matter where the companies are based. The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the regulatory framework, will be ready this year.

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