Samaritans calls for code of conduct and independent regulator to tackle harmful online content
Jacqui Morrissey, Assistant Director of Research and Influencing, Samaritans said:
“Today’s online harms white paper is an important step in the right direction to prevent access to harmful online content. We know that some content on issues like self-harm and suicide can be easily identified as dangerous and other content is recognised to be an important source of support for individuals. However, there is a growing grey area of content whose effects are harder to determine with the limited intelligence we have on the subject, so the solution is not straight forward. We have worked closely with government and social media platforms and advised them of what is urgently needed to improve internet safety.
“The immediate priorities are to tackle the prevalence of this content, the lack of support accompanying it and commit to gaining a deeper understanding of the matter. We therefore called for a code of conduct with clear guidelines and processes on the removal of harmful content for social media platforms, and the creation of an independent regulator to ensure it is enforced. Of equal importance is an in-depth research programme, as part of a long term effort to navigate the complexities of content around self harm and suicide’s effects on individuals, learn how to offer the best support online and ultimately protect more people at risk in the future.”
For more information please contact Samaritans media team on 0208 394 8300 or email [email protected]
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