Media: Self-harm and Suicide

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 27th May 2022.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to ensure that small and medium media platforms restrict content that promote suicide and self-harm.

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

All companies in scope of the Online Safety Bill will have duties to proactively prevent the spread of content encouraging or assisting suicide. They will also have to protect children from harmful suicide and self-harm content, even if it is not illegal. While duties are proportionate to the risk of harm and a service’s capacity, these duties apply regardless of the size of the service.

The largest and highest risk services will also need to set out in terms and conditions their policies for addressing harmful content to adults. This will likely include types of legal content promoting self-harm.

This approach reflects the fact that this type of content is likely to cause the most harm on services with the largest audiences and a range of high-risk features, where it can spread quickly and reach large numbers of people.

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