Social Media: Children

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 9th November 2021.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she will take to evaluate the adequacy of social media companies’ risk assessments of the likelihood of children using their adult services.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The strongest protections in the draft Online Safety Bill are for children. The Bill will require social media companies to assess whether their service is likely to be accessed by or appeal to a significant number of children and, if so, deliver additional protections for them.

Ofcom will be required to produce and publish guidance for services on how to undertake this risk assessment. Companies which assess that they are not likely to be accessed by children will need to provide robust evidence to the regulator and keep this assessment under review. The requirement to undertake, and keep up to date, an accurate assessment with regard to child access is an enforceable requirement. Ofcom may take enforcement action where providers do not carry out an adequate assessment and keep it up to date.

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