Equipping Christians for the General Election

Where do the main parties stand on online safety?
Public Affairs

CARE campaigns for child protection through the law to be upheld online, just as it is offline. Research published in 2016 warned that 53 per cent of 11-16 year olds have seen pornographic content online with 34 per cent viewing it once a week or more.  The report also found that this exposure to pornography was severely damaging to how these young people viewed sex and relationships. Further information as to where CARE stands on Online Safety issues can be accessed here

Below are extracts from the manifestos of the larger political parties relating to Online Safety.

Alliance Party

No comment

Conservative Party

The Conservative party will “lead a global effort to close down online spaces for those who abuse children, incite violence or propagate hate speech.” (pg. 38)

The Conservative party promises to “develop a digital charter, working with industry and charities to establish a new framework that balances freedom with protection for users, and offers opportunities alongside obligations for businesses and platforms. This charter has two fundamental aims: that we will make Britain the best place to start and run a digital business; and that we will make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.” (pg. 77)

They will “work with industry to introduce new protections for minors, from images of pornography, violence, and other age-inappropriate content not just on social media but in app stores and content sites as well. We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users – even unintentionally – to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm. We will make clear the responsibility of platforms to enable the reporting of inappropriate, bullying, harmful or illegal content, with take-down on a comply-or-explain basis.” (pg. 79)

The Conservative party will “continue to push the internet companies to deliver on their commitments to develop technical tools to identify and remove terrorist propaganda, to help smaller companies build their capabilities and to provide support for civil society organisations to promote alternative and counter-narratives. In addition, we do not believe that there should be a safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online and will work to prevent them from having this capability… Where we believe people need more protections to keep them safe, we will act to protect them. We will give people new rights to ensure they are in control of their own data, including the ability to require major social media platforms to delete information held about them at the age of 18, the ability to access and export personal data, and an expectation that personal data held should be stored in a secure way. To create a sound ethical framework for how data is used, we will institute an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission to advise regulators and parliament on the nature of data use and how best to prevent its abuse.” (pg. 79-80)

Democratic Unionist Party

No comment

Green Party (England and Wales)

No comment

Green Party in Northern Ireland

No comment

Labour Party

Labour believes that ”we all need to work harder to keep children safe online. Labour will ensure that tech companies are obliged to take measures that further protect children and tackle online abuse. We will ensure that young people understand and are able to easily remove any content they shared on the internet before they turned 18.” (pg. 96)

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats will “introduce a digital bill of rights that protects people’s powers over their own information, supports individuals over large corporations, and preserves the neutrality of the internet.” (pg. 73)

Plaid Cymru

No comment

Scottish Greens

No comment

Scottish National Party

No comment

Sinn Fein

No comment

Social Democratic and Labour Party

No comment

UKIP

UKIP promises to “extend the remit of the current cross-government Internet Safety Strategy and invite participants to consider whether new legislation is required to address the problem of online abuse.” (pg. 22)

Ulster Unionist Party

No comment

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