UK: Online Safety Bill criticized by Samaritans for lack of protections for adults

UK: Online Safety Bill criticized by Samaritans for lack of protections for adults

(PRESS RELEASE) EWELL, 16-Jan-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Samaritans, a charity registered in England and Wales that works to make sure there’s always someone there for anyone who needs someone, has issues its criticism for the Online Safety Bill in the UK for lack of protections for adults.

As the Online Safety Bill returns to the House of Commons for its final debate, Samaritans, a charity organization, is urging the government to act on public demands for a safer internet. According to new research commissioned by the charity, the government’s removal of protections from damaging content for over 18s goes directly against what the public wants in this bill.

The research found that two-thirds (66%) of the public are concerned with the current accessibility of harmful suicide and self-harm content on the internet. Furthermore, three in five (63%) believe that access to potentially harmful content on the internet should be restricted for everyone, including adults.

This sentiment is shared by four in five (83%) who agree that harmful suicide and self-harm content can have a damaging effect on adults, not just children. Additionally, three-quarters (75%) agree that tech companies should be required by law to prevent harmful suicide and self-harm content being shown to users of all ages.

Only just under one in six (16%) think that access to potentially harmful content on the internet should only be restricted for children.

The research suggests that the public is calling for stronger protections against harmful content on the internet, and that the government’s removal of protections for adults goes against their demands. Samaritans is calling on the government to take note of these concerns and to act accordingly in the final debate of the Online Safety Bill.

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