25 Apr 2019 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 17 Apr 2019 United Kingdom
Proposals for Online Harms Regulation Risk Impacting Media Freedom
Proposed new and wide-ranging legislation in the UK government’s “Online Harms White Paper” released on 8 April has raised concerns about media freedom. Proposed measures include a new legal duty of care to address a wide range of “harms” (not limited to illegal material or activities) with the possibility of large fines and potentially criminal liability for senior managers. Companies of all sizes, including social media companies, public discussion forums, non-profit organisations, file sharing sites and cloud hosting providers are included (for example, a blog and comments would be included). Media and campaigning organisations have raised concerns about the risks of direct and indirect interference with media freedom, such as prior restraint for comments sections and potential removal of "harmful" news stories online.
- Independent Press Standards Organisation blog
- Online Harms White Paper
- Statement by the News Media Association: "Online Harms: NMA Calls For ‘Comprehensive’ Exemption For News Publishers"
- Index and AEJ statement: 'Online harms and media freedom: UK response to Council of Europe lacks concrete details'
25 Apr 2019
Reply from the United Kingdom authorities