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Online Safety Bill won't curb worst content, Committee warns

Online Safety
26 January 2022
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The most "insidious" images on the internet could evade government online safety legislation, a Committee of MPs has warned.

The Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee says the Online Safety Bill is not currently robust enough to tackle some of the worst forms of illegal content such as child abuse and violence against women.

The Online Safety Bill is a huge piece of legislation designed to tackle various ‘harms’ and bring better regulation to the 'Wild West' of the internet.

It will cover content that is currently illegal and content described as ‘legal but harmful’. There are concerns it may go too far in some instances, and curb legitimate freedom of expression

CARE has cautioned that the bill as it stands does not list pornography as a specific category of harmful content despite strong evidence of its harmfulness to children, and link to sexual violence.

We are also concerned it will not lead to regulation of ‘extreme porn’ that is already illegal if a person is found in possession of it. We want to see a regulator appointed to force such content to be removed.

And we are calling for age verification measures - agreed by parliament in 2017 - to be brought into force as an interim safeguard, whilst the online safety regime is being considered.

Read our latest statement on the bill here: Online safety regime must be tougher on internet pornography - charity | CARE

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Online Safety

For children and young people, access to harmful online content is only a click away. CARE is working towards a society where they are as well-protected online as they are offline.

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