Online safety law needs tougher rules on misogyny, say colleagues

Online safety law needs tougher rules on misogyny, say colleagues

  • Post category:Technology

Photo: Jonathan Hordle/Rex/Shutterstock

Tougher rules are needed to tackle online misogyny under the Online Safety Act, a group of colleagues have said.

Under the Online Safety Act, which is being finalized, social media companies will be required by law to abide by their terms of service, which prohibit misogynistic abuse in general. If they are not enforced, fines will be imposed and their services could be blocked by Ofcom, the online regulator.

But a group of fellow Tories, including Nicky Morgan, Gabrielle Bertin and Helen Newlove, a former victims commissioner, plan to propose an amendment that would push the law further.

The amendment would give Ofcom the power to fine social media companies up to 10% of their worldwide turnover for breaching a code banning online misogyny.

The Labor Party should support the change.

Related: Donelan confirms tougher online security measures after backbench pressure

Referring to the proposed change on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Saturday, Lady Morgan said: “Women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online and unfortunately without this regulation we allow misogyny to thrive in public and women to be taken offline.”

The peers believe that the government’s current plans for new crimes such as cyberstalking and the sharing of intimate images such as revenge porn do not go far enough to stop misogynistic abuse online, which is legal but harms women and girls.

Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell told The Telegraph the bill had been “significantly weakened” by removing legal but harmful content provisions, allowing “viral misogyny to flow freely”.

“At a minimum, Ofcom should have the power to set codes of conduct for platforms to ensure that their systems and processes do not actively push people into content that promotes violence against women and girls,” she said.

A possible draft code of conduct for online businesses was drafted by campaign groups such as the NSPCC, 5Rights Foundation, Refuge, End Violence Against Women and the Carnegie Trust, who developed the original concept of due diligence behind government law on online safety.


#Online #safety #law #tougher #rules #misogyny #colleagues