UPDATE: The Government has published its Online Safety Bill. The legislation introduces state-backed censorship and monitoring on a scale never seen before in a liberal democracy. Online speech regulations inscribe limitations on the everyday communications of billions of people. This regulation would deputise private companies like Facebook to be the speech police of the internet.
Government has designed the plans not only to deal with crime online, but to explicitly target lawful speech. This is a seriously dangerous direction. We're now working on a report to expose the threats to free speech online - and we're fighting the Government's censorious plans.
Internet and social media companies are the public squares of the modern day. They have allowed people to communicate, politically organise, expose corruption and wrongdoing, and build new communities on a scale never seen before.
But our online public squares are at risk.
Social media companies are censoring views and deleting accounts haphazardly, often in response to political tides rather than rule breaches, effectively playing judge and jury with our rights.
Meanwhile, the Government has published its Online Safety Bill, which seeks to regulate social media companies forcing them to monitor and censor social networks more than ever.
This Bill is disastrous for privacy rights and free expression online. The Government is clamping down on vague categories of lawful speech. This could easily result in the silencing of marginalised voices and unpopular views.”
Three ways you can protect #FreeSpeechOnline:
Share, tweet, post your support for #FreeSpeechOnline
We’re collecting evidence on social media censorship. If you, or someone/a group you know, have been affected by unfair platform rules, bans or deletions, please tell us about it.
(+ include screenshots/links where possible).
You can read our parliamentary briefings on regulating internet platforms in 2018 and beyond here: