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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:
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Alonelonelylonersbadidea · 26/03/2022 07:39

Thank you Justine and all Mumsnetters!

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blueberrymuffin88 · 01/04/2022 01:06

Bloody hell Justice, keep on fighting! Uiuare so strong and my hero right now!

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Mummybear888 · 01/04/2022 04:30

Thank you and keep on fighting the good fight 🥊! Xx

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concernedrepurplehouse · 16/07/2022 18:24

Good to hear Bill paused. What’s next do you think?

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ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 17/07/2022 17:35

Thanks, Justine, good work. There are so few places where women can discuss serious issues such as child safeguarding and women's rights freely and in the huge numbers allowed by an online forum.

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PearlClutch · 17/07/2022 18:55

Good to hear this. Thank you.

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.

Is this like the thread yesterday where women were talking about sexual abuse they'd suffered as children and supporting each other, and one poster came on to goad and mock and insult them, and instead of dealing with that one poster, the whole thread was deleted?

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OvaHere · 18/07/2022 22:09

Good update. Thank you

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