EDM57 - Regulation of Social Networks

Thank you for contacting me about the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign.

The Government fully recognises the importance of tackling online harms, including harmful content to children on the Internet.  That is why the Online Harms White Paper, jointly published by the Home Office and DCMS last year, sets out plans for world-leading legislation in this area.

As supported by the NSPCC, the Bill will establish a new duty of care on companies towards their users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator.  In its initial response to the consultation on the White Paper, the Government has stated it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator.  This will make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users and tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services.  The regulator will have a suite of powers to take effective enforcement action against companies that have breached their statutory duty of care.

The Government will also be developing an online media literacy strategy.  This strategy will lead to a coordinated and strategic approach to online media literacy education and awareness for children, young people and adults.  Online media and digital literacy can equip users with the skills they need to spot dangers online, critically appraise information and take steps to keep themselves and others safe online.