Mid-Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston has welcomed the publishing of the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy green paper today. The green paper, announced by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS): proposes a new social media code of practice based on a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating content online; an industry-wide levy that allows social media companies and communication service providers to contribute to raising awareness and countering internet harms; an annual internet safety transparency report that will show progress on addressing abusive and harmful content and conduct; and support for tech and digital start-ups in building safeguards into their products.
These proposals are set to make Britain the safest place to be online in the world and come after a year in which almost one fifth of 12-15 year olds encountered something online that they ‘found worrying or nasty in some way’ and 64% of 13-17 year olds had seen images or videos offensive to a particular group.
Nigel Huddleston MP said “this green paper builds on excellent work done in legislation like the Digital Economy Act and confirms the Government’s commitment to keeping British people safe in an increasingly dangerous online world. Recent years have exposed the dark underbelly of the internet, with increasing mental health issues in young people linked to bullying online and the growing problem of ideological radicalisation through internet media, and I am glad that the Government has recognised the protection of people from these dangers as a high priority.
Social media platforms and communication service providers must also take a lot of responsibility for regulating their own content, but I am glad that the Government is looking to support such companies in these efforts rather than stringently legislate against them. The internet is the most complex medium we have ever created and it will take a cooperative approach to ensure that it can be a safe and productive environment for everyone.
I have been glad to work very closely with these efforts in my time on the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport and the Public Bill Committee for the Digital Economy Act, and I look forward to supporting the Digital Minister Matt Hancock in my role as his Parliamentary Private Secretary as this green paper develops into Government policy and directives.”