Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper: DCMS consultation response published

May 20, 2018

The Department for Culture Media & Sport has published its response to a consultation on internet safety carried out between October and December 2017.

The response paper sets out the results of an online survey (completed by just under 400 respondents) and summarises discussions with some of the principal social media businesses. 

The result of the exercise is that a White Paper will be published by the end of the year which will

“set out plans for upcoming legislation that will cover the full range of online harms, including both harmful and illegal content. Potential areas where the Government will legislate include the social media code of practice, transparency reporting and online advertising.” 

Interestingly, the response states that the Government wants to create “a level playing field” so that all companies contribute to internet safety codes and transparency reporting “not just the largest providers”.

The White Paper will also consider new policy areas that have emerged during this first consultation process that warrant further work, including:

  • age verification to assist companies to enforce terms and conditions;
  • policies aimed at improving children and young people’s mental health, including the impact of screen time;
  • tackling issues related to live-streaming; and,
  • further work to define harmful content.

With a timetable for a White Paper now set, which will no doubt involve further consultation next year, it seems that the media coverage suggesting that new laws are imminent may be premature. 

The Green Paper and response documents are available on the DCMS website.