UK: New Plans to Ban Online Misogyny

Michelle Donelan, the UK’s Culture Secretary, is believed to be leading the charge for online misogyny to be banned in the upcoming Online Safety Bill. 

The Telegraph reports that some within the Conservative party are pushing for the law to create a code of conduct requiring social media platforms to prevent online violence and abuse towards women. But some in the government already believe the Online Safety Bill will achieve this without any additional new measures.

The Online Safety Bill is believed to include a general terms and conditions requirement which encourages social media companies to ban misogynistic abuse among others. Fines and blocking by Ofcom are believed to be the punishment for not complying with these rules.

A group of UK politcians still feel these measures do not go far enough in curbing abuse towards women online. This comes after the government pulled out of plans to restrict ‘legal but harmful’ content, due to worries about undermining freedom of speech.

Lucy Powell, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said the Bill had been “severely weakened” by this change which had  left “viral misogyny free to proliferate”.