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Social Media: Self-harm and Suicide

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL720, tabled on 22 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce fines for social media companies who do not actively seek to remove (1) suicide. and (2) self-harm, related posts.

Answered on

13 February 2020

The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups, and will help to build trust in digital markets. The Government will will bring forward legislation to improve internet safety for all, as set out in the Queen’s speech.

The new regulatory framework will place a duty of care on online operators. To fulfil the duty of care, where relevant, companies will be required to take robust action to address harmful content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming.

The new Online Harms framework will be overseen by an independent regulator which will have effective enforcement powers, including the power to fine operators who do not comply with the new duty of care.