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Make the UK the safest place in the world to be online

Last updated 3 months ago

We will legislate to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online – protecting children from online abuse and harms, protecting the most vulnerable from accessing harmful content, and ensuring there is no safe space for terrorists to hide online...

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.20

Our verdict

  • This is a promise to “legislate” to raise online safety in the UK to a world-leading standard.
  • In December 2020, the government published its full response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, in which it stated that an Online Safety Bill “will be ready in 2021” – this is the principal mechanism by which the government hopes to fulfil this manifesto pledge.
  • Demonstrating that the UK is “the safest place in the world to be online” is a near impossible task (for example, consumer group Which?  has criticised the proposed bill for a failure to address online scams), and some commentators have concerns around inconsistent application of laws, as well as restrictions on freedom of speech, but continued movement towards the promised action of legislation means this policy is ‘in progress’.

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.

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