Green Paper proposes crackdown on Internet dangers (UK)

Tech and digital start-ups will get technical help to build safety features into new apps and products under one of the measures proposed by the government to crack down on internet dangers such as cyber bullying, trolling, and under-age access to pornography in order to make Britain “the safest place in the world to be online”.

‘Internet Safety Strategy green paper’ also includes proposals for

  • an industry-wide levy so social media companies and communication service providers contribute to the costs of raising awareness and countering internet harms​
  • a new social media code of practice to see a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content
  • an annual internet safety transparency report to show progress on addressing abusive and harmful content and conduct

While acknowledging that the internet has ‘been an amazing force for good’, the paper flags up a wealth of research to show that it has also caused ‘undeniable’ suffering and can be an especially harmful place for children and vulnerable people – for example

As the current generation of children is the first to learn about relationships and sex online, the strategy also outlines the crucial role that education will play in raising online safety awareness, with a particular focus on children and parents achieved through proposed measures such as

  • new compulsory school subjects
  • social media safety advice
  • highlighting safety features and products

The paper also includes a proposal for the UK Council for Child Internet Safety to be renamed the UK Council for Internet Safety, with an extended brief covering the delivery of the strategy and the safety of all users – not just children.

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