Feb 4, 2023
UK Online Safety Bill May Also Tackle Misogyny
The UK’s Online Safety Bill may be strengthened to tackle violence and abuse against women on the web, according to a report in The Telegraph newspaper.
A group of UK politicians plan to put forward an amendment that would see the law go further than its current focus, the newspaper said. It would give Ofcom, the UK’s media regulator, the power to fine social media companies up to 10% of their global turnover if they fail to abide by a code outlawing online misogyny.
The Conservative lawmakers pushing for the change are members of the UK’s House of Lords and include Nicky Morgan, former education minister, Gabrielle Bertin, who was an aide to ex-Prime Minister David Cameron, and Helen Newlove, a former victims’ commissioner, according to the Telegraph. The opposition Labour Party will back the amendment, raising the likelihood it will be passed, the newspaper reported.
The UK bill aims to protect Internet users, particularly under-18s, from harmful content and includes criminal sanctions for social media bosses. It requires firms such as Twitter Inc. and Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platforms Inc. to abide by their own terms and conditions which generally bar misogynistic abuse, the Telegraph reported. The latest amendment would increase its focus on tackling violence against women.
Read more: Why Mark Zuckerberg Should Face the Threat of Jail: Parmy Olson
Morgan, speaking in the House of Lords, said that threats of rape and death aimed at women should be addressed by the bill as they are “designed to drive women off platforms” and create a “space where women are deliberately made to feel uncomfortable.”
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