Thank you for contacting me about the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign.
We have to be alive to the dangers the online experience can have for children. I believe it is vital that we do all we can to protect our children from the negative impacts the online world can have.
I know the Government fully recognises the importance of tackling online harms, including harmful content to children on the Internet. That is why the Online Harms White Paper, jointly published by the Home Office and DCMS in 2019, sets out plans for world-leading legislation in this area and I am delighted that the Government has now published its full response to the subsequent consultation.
As championed by the NSPCC, the Bill will establish a new duty of care on companies towards their users, which will be overseen by Ofcom, the UK's independent communications regulator. Ofcom will have the power to levy unprecedented fines of up to £18million or 10 per cent of global turnover (whichever is higher) for serious breaches under the proposals. This will make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users and tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services.
I also welcome that the Government will be developing an online media literacy strategy. This strategy will lead to a coordinated and strategic approach to online media literacy education and awareness for children, young people and adults. Online media and digital literacy can equip users with the skills they need to spot dangers online, critically appraise information and take steps to keep themselves and others safe online.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP