EFL welcomes online safety bill – News

The EFL joins the FA, Premier League, Kick it Out and other football authorities in welcoming the Online Safety Bill and hopes it will receive strong support from MPs when second reading this week in the House of Commons.

Online abuse is a serious problem in grassroots football and throughout the professional game, and the EFL commends the government for bringing forward this world’s first legislation to create a safer online environment and hold people to account. social media companies.

Collectively, we are pleased that the government has listened to the views of football authorities and strengthened the bill in a number of important areas, including:

  • Hate crime: we welcome the designation of hate crimes as priority illegal content in the text of the bill, which means that platforms have an active duty to minimize exposure to this content;
  • Anonymity: we welcome the new anonymity provisions, which mean that identity verification should be offered as an option and that users will have better control over who can contact them and what they see online;
  • Communication offences: We are pleased that the government has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations to reform communication offenses to more clearly include threatening and harassing behavior online and that these are included in the bill.

This legislation is a promising first step towards creating a new era of online liability and the EFL offers its support to the government, parliamentarians and Ofcom in the ongoing task of developing secondary legislation and safety guidelines.

We are pleased that the government recognizes the importance of transparency and urge Ministers to ensure that the Bill establishes the minimum levels and categories of information that will have to be provided each year as part of the transparency requirements for reports; and that Ofcom has the ability to share reporting information.

Although hate and discrimination are not currently the subject of a specific code of conduct, we are keen to work closely with the government and Ofcom on this very important issue. We want to ensure that the experiences and voices of victims of online abuse provide critical insight and influence the creation of Ofcom’s guidelines.

We would like to thank the government for their engagement with English football as they drafted this important bill and look forward to working closely with them as the bill progresses through Parliament over the next few years. coming months.

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