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Joint Committee publishes report on draft Online Safety Bill

On 14 December 2021, the Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill, which includes members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, published a report on the legislative proposal outlining the committee's main conclusions and recommendations. The Draft Online Safety Bill was published on 12 May 2021 and aims to address harmful content online while making online service providers liable. The committee welcomed the bill's provisions and listed several recommendations. Regarding the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the committee notes that the agency’s power to investigate, audit and fine companies should be increased and that it should be able to issue Codes of Practice concerning problem areas, including child exploitation and terrorism. Regarding the obligations for service providers, it notes that companies should run internal risk assessments to identify potential threats to user safety that could be attributable to content and algorithms. In addition, the Joint Committee stressed that the bill should provide strong protections for freedom of expression to protect journalism and public interest speech, and emphasized that the bill should provide comprehensive and easy-to-understand criteria of what could be classified as illegal online.

Original source


Policy Area
Content moderation
Policy Instrument
Content moderation regulation
Regulated Economic Activity
platform intermediary: user-generated content
Implementation Level
Government Branch
Government Body

Complete timeline of this policy change

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under deliberation

On 12 May 2021, the UK Government issues its draft Online Safety Bill, which establishes a regulato…

under deliberation

On 14 December 2021, the Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill, which includes members of…

under deliberation

The Online Safety Bill, which would establish a comprehensive regulatory framework against harmful …

in consultation

On 20 April 2022, the UK Government opened a public consultation on the Online Safety Bill, which i…

processing consultation

On 30 June 2022, the UK Government closed the public consultation for the Online Safety Bill, which…

under deliberation

On 28 November 2022, UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced new amendments to …

under deliberation

On 5 December 2022, amendments to the Online Safety Bill were made before the UK Parliament. The am…

in consultation

On 10 January 2023, Ofcom (Office of Communications of United Kingdom) opened a public consultation…

processing consultation

On 21 March 2023, OFCOM (Office of Communications of United Kingdom) closed a public consultation. …