Bishop Rachel responds to online harms government proposals

Published: April 8, 2019

The  Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office have released the Online Harms White Paper , which has proposed an independent watchdog that will write a “code of practice” for tech companies.

Bishop Rachel welcomed the  plans  that will impose substantial fines against social media companies that breach their duty of care and hold individual executives personally liable.

Bishop Rachel said. “The new plans unveiled today are an encouraging sign that the online world will start to be regulated to protect people like Molly Russell, 14, who tragically took her own life. We know that her family believe that social media was partly responsible for their daughter’s death.

“Research tells us that 4 in 10 people feel that tech firms fail to take their concerns seriously when they complain.

“It’s about time that social media companies are held responsible for their content and are accountable for their actions. No other organisation in the ‘real’ world has that freedom. We manage to regulate electricity, water companies, broadcasters, shops etc through consumer bodies, yet for years social media companies have been allowed to self-regulate. These new clear standards, backed up by enforcement powers will hopefully be the step change to start really protecting our children and young people online.”

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