The UK government has been criticised by the House of Lords Select Committee for Democracy and Digital Technologies for the delay to new legislation to prevent online harms, which may not be in force before late as 2023, or even 2024.
The court struck down the highly controversial flagship provisions of this law, which would reduce the time within which platform providers were required to respond to reported hate speech content, subject to criminal sanctions. What are the consequences – and the next steps?
While the European Commission continues to progress a wide-ranging new legal framework for online content, a number of Member States are taking action at a national level to combat specific harms, such as hate speech, in order to increase online safety and step up the fight against such harmful content.
The proliferation of COVID-19 related disinformation has heightened the UK government’s desire to tackle a whole variety of online harms. The full consultation response on a proposed Online Harms Bill, expected imminently, should shed some light on the government’s thinking – though full reforms are expected to be delayed until 2021.