Social Media: Age

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 4th January 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage social media companies to reveal how many underage users are on their platforms.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

In May 2021 HM Government published the draft Online Safety Bill. The strongest protections in this legislation are for children. Companies in scope whose sites are likely to be accessed by children will have to ensure that only users who are old enough are able to access services which have age restrictions or which risk causing them harm. The regulator, Ofcom, will be able to take enforcement action against companies that fail to comply.

The largest and most high-risk companies will also be required to publish annual transparency reports about the steps they are taking to tackle online harms. This will include steps they are taking to fulfil their safety duties and provide a higher level of protection for children. Ofcom can take robust enforcement action where companies do not provide the required information.

In addition, the Secretaries of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and for Education, alongside the Children’s Commissioner for England, hosted a roundtable with social media companies on 1 December 2021 at which the companies pledged to identify further information regarding children on their platforms and the nature of harms children may face.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.