At Samaritans, we believe it is important to help people avoid harmful online content, whilst making sure the support that the Internet can provide remains available.
About the campaign
The UK Government have plans to help keep people safer online through new regulation. And with your help, we have been taking action to make sure these plans include the needs of people who experience thoughts about suicide or self-harm.
In 2019, hundreds of Samaritans supporters responded to the UK Government’s plan for online regulation, letting them know what else needed to be done.
Now the government have published a draft Online Safety Bill. And although this includes some positive steps, there is still far to go.
In response to the draft Bill, Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, said:
"In its current form, this Bill does not go far enough to ensure a suicide-safer internet. We want confirmation that harmful suicide and self-harm content will be covered to avoid any delay in protecting vulnerable users. Tackling content that glamourises self-harm and suicide, detailed instructions on how to take your own life and graphic depictions of self-harm and suicide, is long overdue.
"As it stands, only the largest and most popular platforms will be required to act on content that is legal but harmful to adults. This risks the most harmful suicide and self-harm content just moving to less prolific sites. Parliament must protect the most vulnerable and ensure the Bill compels all platforms, regardless of their reach, to remove harmful content around suicide and self-harm."
There is still time to make the changes needed to the Bill before it becomes law.
We’re calling for:
- Suicide and self-harm content to be a priority for action in upcoming changes to law and regulation.
- The new law to make sure all websites where people post content, regardless of how big or small they are, remove harmful content around suicide and self-harm.
- Companies to take action now, by using our best practice guidelines for managing user-generated suicide and self-harm content.
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