Internet: Racial Discrimination

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, ​whether racism that falls short of the standard of a racial hatred offence will be covered by the Online Safety Bill as a priority harm.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

Racism online is completely unacceptable and has no place in an open and tolerant society. All companies whose services are likely to be used by children will have to protect them from racist content that falls short of the criminal threshold. Companies providing high-risk, high-reach services, such as the main social media services will also need to address legal content of this type that is harmful to adults. Racist abuse falls within the definition of harmful content that companies must address.

The government will set out priority harms for both children and adults in secondary legislation following consultation with Ofcom. Racist abuse that does not meet the threshold of a criminal offence will likely be a priority harm.

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