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Internet: Privacy

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL3219, tabled on 19 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate (1) to limit the social media abuse of public figures, and (2) to end online anonymity.

Answered on

27 October 2021

Everybody should be able to be safe online. Under the Online Safety Bill, which was published in draft in May 2021 for pre-legislative scrutiny, companies in scope will need to minimise and remove illegal content including criminal online abuse targeted at public figures and illegal anonymous abuse.

Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content for adults. These companies will have to set out clearly what content is acceptable on their platforms and enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently.

The Bill also places new requirements on tech companies in relation to anonymity online. It requires companies to identify, mitigate and effectively manage the risk of online anonymous abuse. Ofcom will set out the steps that companies must take to address online abuse in codes of practice.

If companies do not comply with their legal duties, they could face tough enforcement penalties of up to £18 million or ten percent of annual global qualifying turnover.