Young people have pushed for Conservative and Labour politicians to pass new laws to stop abusive and harmful online content, and for the end to the delay of the online safety bill.
NSPCC’s Young People’s Board for Change (YPBC) attended the Conservative and Labour party conferences for a discussion about new laws to stop harmful content and abuse and improved online safety support. YPBC met Damian Collins, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, and Alex Davies-Jones, Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, at fringe events held at each party conference about how the Online Safety Bill can bring greater protection for children online. Also,the panel at Labour conference event included MPAlex Davies-Jones, Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at the NSPCC, CEO of Barnardo’s Lynn Perry MBE, and Andrea Simon, Director of End Violence Against Women Coalition addressing Whereas, the panel at the Conservative conference event was made up of MP Damian Collins, Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, SeyiAkiwowo, Founder and Chief Executive of Glitch, Poppy Wood, UK Director at Reset, and Barnardo’s CEO Lynn Perry MBE.
The bill, which had been delayed due to the change in Prime Minister, is meant to introduce new laws that put a duty on online platforms to protect young people from harm. Without it, the NSPCC predict that 3,500 online sexual abuse crimes will happen in the UK every month. The charity is calling for the bill to be implemented in full without any more delays.
Moreover, the charity launched a petition that was signed by over 20,000 people calling on the UK government to keep its promise and pass the online safety bill without delay. YPBC speakers at the conference focused their frustrations on online abuses on young people and recommended improvement, they lamented young people getting exposed to disturbing online content and blamed companies for propagating child online abuses. They also called for companies to be held accountable for their role in child protection, especially with the continued rise of social media platforms, and called on politicians to hold irresponsible companies accountable by having a legal action that calls for the protection of young people from online dangers.