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Rishi Sunak orders online safety bill but vows to scrap social media clause amid freedom of speech fears

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RISHI Sunak will bring back the online safety bill this month – but will ditch the “legal but harmful” clause amid freedom of speech fears.
The PM has ordered Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan to get to work on taking it back to the Commons before Christmas with a string of amendments.
Sunak has demanded Michelle Donelan, Culture Sec, to take it back to the Commons before Christmas with a new string of amendments1Sunak has demanded Michelle Donelan, Culture Sec, to take it back to the Commons before Christmas with a new string of amendmentsThe long-promised bill will finally protect kids from sick online hate and suicide content – but has been repeatedly delayed.
Sources say the PM wants to make the promised new laws a “priority” for his new Government.
As he vowed in his summer leadership campaign, the PM will stick to plans to change clause 14, which would have allowed social media firms to remove offensive comments they did not agree with.
Charities and think tanks had warned the clause would risk creating an unworkable regime which stifled freedom of speech.
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The Sun understands that the “legal but harmful” clause will be ditched for adults, meaning firms would not have to make crucial decisions on what is or isn’t illegal.
But kids will still face extra protections in a bid to keep them safe and meet promises to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.
Ministers are still committed to fining social media firms a staggering ten per cent of global turnover if they break the new rules.
And the new law will also seek to clarify what is a news publisher in a bid to protect journalists – and make sure campaigning websites don’t use them to pump out their propaganda.

The law is a 2019 manifesto vow – which Mr Sunak has repeatedly said he wants to stick to.
The NSPCC children’s charity said last night they estimate more than 800 sex offences against children online will have been reported to police in England and Wales since he walked into No10.
Last night their Chief Executive, Sir Peter Wanless wrote for The House magazine: “It is now crucial the bill becomes law without delay.
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“The need for legislation to protect children is clear, commands overwhelming support from MPs and the public and has its roots in the UK’s global leadership position in tackling harm online.
“Without it, too many families continue to suffer the deep and painful wounds inflicted by online child abuse.”

Story Credit: thesun.co.uk

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