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Social Media: Freedom of Expression

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 134111, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is able to take to protect the right to free speech from censorship by social media platforms.

Answered on

13 January 2021

The UK is committed to upholding freedom of expression online. Our new online safety laws will safeguard pluralism and ensure internet users can continue to engage in robust debate online.

Under the new regulatory framework, both Ofcom and in-scope companies will have duties relating to freedom of expression, for which they can be held to account.The largest social media platforms will be required to have clear and accessible terms and conditions, and to enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently. Furthermore, new obligations for transparency and user reporting will enable users to more effectively understand and appeal content removal. This will both empower adult users to keep themselves safe online, and protect freedom of expression by preventing companies from arbitrarily removing content.