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Social Media

Question for Home Office

UIN 45167, tabled on 6 September 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that social media websites remove abusive and threatening posts.

Answered on

14 September 2016

We expect social media companies, and internet platforms, to have robust processes in place and to act promptly when abuse is reported; including acting quickly to removing inappropriate content, and where appropriate, suspending or terminating the accounts of those breaching the rules in place.

We are working with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) to keep children and young people safe online. UKCCIS brings together industry, law enforcement, academia, charities and parenting groups to help to keep children and young people safe online. UKCCIS is co-chaired by Ministers from Department for Education, Home Office and Department for Culture Media and Sport.

In December 2015 we published guidance to encourage responsible practice from industry, and ensure children using their services are able to do so in a safe and protected way.

The Criminal Justice Act 2015 strengthened two existing communications offences: section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 which can now be used to prosecute misuse of social media. The police now have longer to investigate either offence, and the maximum penalty for the former has been increased to two years imprisonment.

Answered by

Home Office