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Internet: Safety

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 3858, tabled on 19 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the indirect benefits of reducing online harms on encouraging wider participation online; and is this considered by the government's impact assessment for the Online Harms Bill.

Answered on

24 May 2021

The Online Safety Bill seeks to empower all users, including vulnerable users, to keep themselves safe online and to enjoy their right to freedom of expression. It aims to ensure everyone can participate online, without risk of bullying or being attacked on the basis of their identity.

The Bill’s Impact Assessment does not directly address the indirect benefits of encouraging wider participation as a result of reducing harm encountered online. However, the impact on online participation is being considered by the Department, as part of wider work on the impact of the policy and through the continued development of the evidence base around online harms.

The forthcoming Media Literacy Strategy will also consider how media literacy, education and empowerment can support all users to participate in online life.

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