Landmark Online Safety Bill published in parliament

Today the government published their Online Safety Bill which will create a Duty of Care for tech companies to protect children on their platforms

  • We’ve been at the centre of campaigning for social media regulation since 2017, and first secured a commitment to pass a law by the then Culture Secretary Matt Hancock at their How Safe conference in 2018.
  • The Online Safety Bill must address the complex nature of online abuse to consistently protect children from grooming.

Worried about a child?

If you're worried about a child or young person, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline for support and advice for free - call us on 0808 800 5000 or contact us online.

Children can contact Childline any time to get support themselves.

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Frida's story

When I was 13, a man in his 30s contacted me on Facebook.

 

He started telling me he liked me, which was such a nice change to all the abuse I was getting at school. Then he asked for some explicit photos.

 

I felt like I could trust him. It went on for years.*

The Online Safety Bill must be strengthened

Our calls to the government to close significant gaps in the law:

  • Hold a senior manager liable for children’s safety on every platform, using fines, censure and criminal sanctions as penalties for negligence.
  • Place duties on platforms to tackle grooming pathways that are used to commit abuse across multiple platforms.
  • Disrupt child abusers who legally use social media as a shop window to advertise their sexual interest in children, form networks with other offenders and post links to child abuse content on third party sites.
  • Give children a voice to fight for their interests, including provision of a legal advocate for children funded by an industry tax.

One of our recent polls showed overwhelming public support for these measures to be included in the final bill. It comes as 3 Parliamentary Committees also recommended the Online Safety Bill to be strengthened to disrupt abuse.

We're working hard to ensure we're still here for children. Will you help us?

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, said:

"The Online Safety Bill is a landmark piece of legislation that must act as a key pillar of the child protection system for generations to come.

The Bill comes 4 years after the NSPCC first secured a commitment from the government to regulate social media and will be judged on whether it effectively and unambiguously tackles inherently preventable child abuse.

The legislation must respond to the complex nature of online child abuse, provide sufficient deterrence value to large tech firms, and ensure safeguarding expertise are embedded in the regulatory system.

We’ll be scrutinising the bill closely and will continue to work with the government to ensure it provides children and families with the clear protection they need.”

*DISCLAiMER

Names have been changed and photographs are posed by models.