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MNHQ here: Breaking news on the Online Safety Bill

82 replies

JustineMumsnet · 18/03/2022 11:35

Hi all,

As you might have seen, yesterday the Government published the Online Safety Bill, a lengthy piece of legislation designed to tackle online abuse and harm.

Since proposals for the Bill were first introduced, we’ve been raising concerns with MPs and Ministers about how well-meaning but over-reaching legislation could affect sites like Mumsnet, and stop our users talking about the things that matter to them.

And, following our campaigning, we’re pleased to see that some welcome changes have been made to the Bill. Most notably, that sites like Mumsnet will no longer be able to be pressured into removing users’ posts by malicious complaints that say our content is psychologically harmful. Instead, Parliament will now establish what counts as ‘legal but harmful’ content.

But we’re still concerned about how the Bill could affect Mumsnet - and we’re particularly worried about what Parliament will designate as ‘legal but harmful’ content. There are thousands of conversations on Mumsnet every day where women reach out for support after experiencing sexual abuse, or discovering that their kids are struggling with self-harm or eating disorders. Our fear is that blanket definitions of subjects like these as ‘legal but harmful’ could force us to shut those conversations down, meaning that the incredible support that Mumsnet users offer each other in situations like these will be lost.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking to Ministers, MPs, Lords and other organisations who share our concerns about the Bill, and doing everything we can to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect Mumsnet users.

Please watch this space for further info - and to find out how you can help us keep the conversations that make Mumsnet so brilliant. You can also sign up to the campaigns mailing list and make sure you never miss an update.

Big thanks,
Justine

PS if you’d like to support our campaigning work, sign up to Mumsnet Premium here

OP posts:
Clymene · 18/03/2022 12:04

Thanks Justine

Helleofabore · 18/03/2022 12:11

Thank you Justine.

EmpressaurusWitchDoesntBurn · 18/03/2022 12:13

Thank you Justine.

I hope you can also make sure that we’re allowed to keep talking about women’s rights in FWR.

MustardRaisin · 18/03/2022 12:16

Mumsnet seems to be a rare (lone?) space to discuss women's safeguarding issues. I'm sure it's a headache for moderation but I'm so grateful that Mumsnet allows these conversations to happen (and of course my fellow users for starting and having them). Sounds like these could be at risk if Mumsnet weren't feeding back accordingly, so thank you.

Ereshkigalangcleg · 18/03/2022 12:20

Thank you Justine.

DomesticatedZombie · 18/03/2022 12:20

Thank you, Justine.

littlbrowndog · 18/03/2022 12:24

Justine 💪💪💪

JellySaurus · 18/03/2022 12:27

@EmpressaurusWitchDoesntBurn

Thank you Justine.

I hope you can also make sure that we’re allowed to keep talking about women’s rights in FWR.

Freedom of speech must be defended in order to define and protect wider freedoms.
ofwarren · 18/03/2022 12:51

Thank you Justine

nepeta · 18/03/2022 12:57

I am so grateful to Mumsnet for this. It is extremely important for all of us to be able to have open and respectful debates about crucial issues. Thank you for doing some of the heavy lifting on this one.

TofuDelights · 18/03/2022 13:03

Thank you Justine. Another one adding my thanks that the massively important FWR board exists.

BernardBlackMissesLangCleg · 18/03/2022 13:23

Thank you

SamphiretheStickerist · 18/03/2022 13:39

Thank you, Justine.

The freedom to speak as we do here should be protected, as you say, for some women this is all they have in times of dire need.

TheFnozwhowasmirage · 18/03/2022 13:54

Thank you Justine.

ResisterRex · 18/03/2022 13:57

Thank you Justine Thanks

theglitch · 18/03/2022 14:29

"we’re particularly worried about what Parliament will designate as ‘legal but harmful’ content"

You and me both.

Don't know how I feel about this mass censorship TBH.

SelfPortraitWithPterodactyl · 18/03/2022 14:31

Thank you!

Chakraleaf · 18/03/2022 14:36

@MustardRaisin

Mumsnet seems to be a rare (lone?) space to discuss women's safeguarding issues. I'm sure it's a headache for moderation but I'm so grateful that Mumsnet allows these conversations to happen (and of course my fellow users for starting and having them). Sounds like these could be at risk if Mumsnet weren't feeding back accordingly, so thank you.

This
kennelmaid · 18/03/2022 14:42

Thank you

sashagabadon · 18/03/2022 14:48

Yes I agree sone of the aspects of this new bill are concerning for free speech.

VestofAbsurdity · 18/03/2022 14:57

Thank you Justine.

unwashedanddazed · 18/03/2022 16:02

Thank you.

Linguini · 18/03/2022 16:27

It's extr

Linguini · 18/03/2022 16:28

It's extremely important that this bill is worded correctly.

DazzlePaintedBattlePants · 18/03/2022 16:46

Agree with everyone else on here - vital that women’a ability to speak freely online and in real life is maintained.

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