Stoke-on-Trent Central MP, Jo Gideon asks the government for reassurance that technology firms will be required to build software into their platforms to crackdown on online child exploitation and Count Line Drug dealing.
This response to the Online Harms White Paper sets out plans for a new duty of care to make companies take responsibility for the safety of their users. It builds on our manifesto commitment to introduce legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online but at the same time defend freedom of expression.
The legislation will define what harmful content will be in scope. Principally, this legislation will tackle illegal activity taking place online and prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate material. But the legislation will also address other types of harm that spread online - from dangerous misinformation spreading lies about vaccines to destructive pro-anorexia content.
These new laws will mean no more empty gestures - we will set out categories of harm in secondary legislation and hold tech giants to account for the way they address this content on their platforms. This approach will empower people to manage their online safety and ensure that these companies will not be able to arbitrarily remove controversial viewpoints.
In a question to the Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Gideon MP said:
"Earlier this year, Staffordshire Police, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council launched an operation to crackdown on gangs exploiting children through County Line drug dealing and other criminality.
"With these children often groomed and radicalised on online platforms and messaging services, can my RHF confirm that, under the rules outlined in the Online Harms consultation, technology firms will be required to build technology into their platforms that can prevent this sort of activity?"