Jo Stevens – 2020 Comments on the Online Harms Bill

Text of the comments made by Jo Stevens, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on 26 July 2020.

The failure to tackle these high-profile examples of hate speech shows why we so desperately need proper legislation to force the social media companies to keep people safe online.

Social media companies have had repeated opportunities to show they can police their sites effectively. But when high profile individuals are allowed to keep their platforms after spreading vile anti-Semitic abuse – and then doubling down when challenged – it’s clear that self-regulation isn’t working.

The government promised this bill more than a year ago – it’s high time they showed they take the safety of those who use the internet as seriously as the needs and influence of the big tech firms.