Online Safety Bill lacks child protections, suggests UK’s leading internet safety body

Almost half (46%) of Brits believe the Online Safety Bill in its current form is inadequate in protecting children online, according to a new survey by the UK’s leading online safety body.

As the landmark legislation returns to the House of Commons today, Get Safe Online reveals that just over half of British adults (51%) believe that there should be a shift in focus towards better protecting children, whilst just 9% feel that the priority should be to protect freedom of speech.

The research also suggests that greater public education is needed around the issue, with three in four (77%) UK adults admitting to knowing ‘not very much’ or ‘nothing’ about the Online Safety Bill.

It follows previous research by the non-for-profit organisation that showed that 48% of young people see misleading content every day, with more than one in 10 seeing it more than six times a day – often leaving them feeling annoyed, upset, sad, angry, attacked or scared.

Tony Neate, CEO at Get Safe Online comments, “The internet is an amazing place, providing us all with so many benefits on a day-to-day basis, but more needs to be done so that it can be a place where people – especially children – are safe and not subject to exploitation. We’re very welcoming of the Government’s progress on this and, as we reach this critical junction in policymaking, now is the time to evaluate the impact of the Online Safety Bill and ensure the right balance between protecting freedom of speech and protecting children is met.

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