Online Harms White Paper launched

Last updated: 08 Apr 2019 Topics: News Type: News

Government publishes Online Harms White Paper outlining plans to tackle content that harms individuals, particularly children

The White Paper proposals include:

  • an independent regulator for online safety
  • a mandatory ‘duty of care’ to require companies to take reasonable steps to tackle harmful activity or content on their sites. 

The NSPCC has been campaigning for an independent regulator and a mandatory 'duty of care' through our #WildWestWeb campaign and much of our detailed regulatory thinking has been reflected in the White Paper. For more information, read the NSPCC’s Taming the Wild West Web report (PDF) which sets out how a robust regulator should enforce a legal duty of care to children on social networks.

A range of online harms will be tackled as part of the White Paper, including inciting violence, encouraging suicide, cyberbullying and children accessing inappropriate material. If the proposals are implemented, the measures will be the first of its kind in the world to make the internet a safer place. A 12-week consultation on the proposals closes on Monday 1 July 2019. Have your say and visit GOV.UK for details on how to respond.

Keeping children safe online in your role

The NSPCC is here to support you in protecting and safeguarding the young people you work with. Anyone who works with children needs to know what to do if a child is at risk or experiences issues online like grooming, online sexual abuse or cyberbullying and have the confidence to respond effectively to protect them.

For expert help and support, take our interactive 4-hour Keeping children safe online elearning course, developed in association with CEOP, the child protection unit of the National Crime Agency. The course costs just £30 and will help you to understand how children use the internet and how to respond to risks they may face online.

> Take our online training on Keeping children safe online