Jo Stevens – 2021 Comments on the Draft Online Safety Bill

The comments made by Jo Stevens, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on 12 May 2021.

Over two years ago the Conservatives promised ‘world leading’ legislation in their White Paper. Instead we have watered down and incomplete proposals which lag behind the rest of the world. Even the Government’s press release admits that it’s proposals will only tackle some of the worst abuses on social media.

Labour backs criminal sanctions for senior tech executives to bring about a change of culture in these companies who for too long have been given a completely free rein.

As the NSPCC has identified these proposals do very little to ensure children are safe online. There is little to incentivise companies to prevent their platforms from being used for harmful practices.

The Bill, which will have taken the Government more than five years from its first promise to act to be published, is a wasted opportunity to put into place future proofed legislation to provide an effective and all-encompassing regulatory framework to keep people safe online.