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Online Safety Bill Guidance

Date: Tuesday, 28th Feb 2023 | Category: General

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has published a guide setting out what the Online Safety Bill will mean for adults and children in the UK. The guide explains how the Online Safety Bill will protect children and the types of content that will be tackled such as illegal and harmful content.

What is online harm? 

The number of issues that could be regarded as harmful online is considerable, but they can be categorised into four areas of risk:  

  • being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, e.g. pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism. (even pre-school children may come across such content – especially on devices with voice-activated search enabled); 
  • being subjected to harmful online contact with other users, e.g. peer pressure, adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes;  
  • personal online conduct that increases the likelihood of/causes harm, e.g. making, sending and receiving consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images, online bullying, allowing apps/websites to access location, younger children sending (including inappropriate/indecent) images/information to (e.g. parent’s) device’s contact list;  
  • commerce-based risks (both as victims and perpetrators), e.g. online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scams.  

Online abuse is any abuse that is facilitated by using internet connected technology. Online abuse may take place through social media, messaging apps, emails, online gaming, live-streaming sites or other channels of digital communication. Children who are abused offline may be re-victimised online if their abuse is live-streamed or recorded and uploaded online. 

Free online safety poster to download