Suicide: Internet

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17 November 2023.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961, how many times his Department has asked internet service providers to remove websites that encourage suicide in each of the last five years.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

The Department has not asked internet service providers to remove such websites in the last five years. However, we recognise the role of internet service providers in protecting people online. We are working with a range of organisations across the suicide prevention sector, and more widely, on this issue to enable better protection for individuals.

The Online Safety Act, which received royal assent on 26 October 2023, will tackle illegal and legal forms of self-harm and suicide content in several ways. All services in scope will need to proactively prevent all users from being exposed to priority illegal content, including content that encourages or assists suicide.

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