Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

London, December 15: The UK government led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering restricting social media use for under-16s, which could include bans, sources close to the matter said. They said a consultation would start in January to collect evidence on how social media affects children’s well-being and asked not to be identified as the talks were confidential.

The Guardian, citing the sources, reported that the policy is still under discussion and may not go ahead. They said bans were an option, but one said it was improbable they would be part of the final proposal. Another said a ban or better parental controls were still possible. Rishi Sunak’s spokeswoman, Camilla Marshall, said at a regular briefing on Thursday that they were “looking broadly at this issue of keeping children safe online” but did not give any details on the measures being discussed. UK PM Rishi Sunak in Danger of Losing His Premiership and Political Career.

The UK has recently enacted the Online Safety Act to make companies that offer user-to-user services more accountable for protecting people – especially children – online, which includes age verification requirements. At the same time, the National Crime Agency has advised British parents to be careful about letting their children use Facebook after Meta Platform Inc’s move to encrypt messages raised safety concerns. Rishi Sunak’s Authority As UK Prime Minister Will Be in Tatters if He Fails To Sack Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Warn Senior Tories.

The Online Safety Bill, which aims to protect children and adults from online harms, took six years to become law after it was first proposed in 2017. During that time, the UK police reported more than 34,000 cases of online grooming of children. The Molly Rose Foundation, a charity founded by the parents of Molly Russell, who took her own life after seeing harmful content on social media, urged the government to strengthen the role of Ofcom, the online safety regulator.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 15, 2023 09:32 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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