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Technology: Companies

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL5034, tabled on 15 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require technology companies to implement mechanisms to deal with harmful anonymous accounts.

Answered on

4 January 2022

The Online Safety Bill requires companies to manage effectively the risk of online anonymous abuse on services in scope. Companies will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content and prevent children from experiencing harmful abuse. Major platforms will also need to set out clearly what legal content is acceptable for adult users on their services and enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently. This applies whether a user is anonymous or not.

Ofcom will have enforcement powers available to use against companies which fail their duties. These powers include fines for companies of up to £18 million or 10% of qualifying annual global turnover, and business disruption measures.

The draft Bill has been subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee which reported its recommendations on 14 December. We are considering the Committee’s recommendations and are committed to introducing the Bill as soon as possible after that.