Pontypridd MP Drives Changes To Law To Keep Children Safe

Written by on 12th September 2023

Alex Davies-Jones MP, the Member of Parliament for Pontypridd, has led on the Online Safety Bill in Parliament.

The Bill, which is in its final stages before soon becoming law, aims to protect children and adults on social media platforms from harmful content.

This includes content found on popular social media platforms including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Search services such as Google and Microsoft Bing will also have duties to protect users – and Ofcom will act as the regulator once the Bill is enacted in to law.

Since first being introduced to UK Parliament by the Government, the Bill has undergone a number of re-drafts after coming under criticism from a wide range of stakeholders. The Government also attempted to use Parliamentary procedure to remove clauses from the Bill to avoid a series of defeats in votes.

In its original draft, the Bill sought to place different requirements on to social media platforms based on their size, rather than harm. However, in her role as Shadow Tech Minister, Alex Davies-Jones MP repeatedly warned the Government that this approach could fail to protect millions, since some of the highest harm online comes from smaller websites including 4chan and Bitchute.

Speaking before the Bill’s debate in Parliament today, Alex Davies-Jones MP said:

“Today is a hugely significant day where we get a step closer to seeing our online space become safer for us all.

Over the last two years I have had the great privilege to meet with families who have lost children at the hands of online harm. Some parents have lost children to suicide and all along social media companies have been able to profit from dangerous algorithms feeding young people endless content online.

This Bill is a positive start, but it has been delayed time and time again by the Government in Westminster. It is about time that it is made into law so that companies have to take responsibility for the harm they are causing, especially to children.

I have been proud to have led on this Bill, and at times have been subject to vile abuse and trolling online myself too. Companies should not be allowed to profit from this misery, and I am so proud that the Government have taken on board a number of the recommendations I have personally made as this Bill has passed through Parliament.”

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