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Polis Analysis welcomes the Online Safety Bill reaching its final stages in Parliament

20 Sept 2023

Polis Analysis welcomes the passage of the Online Safety Bill through its final stages in Parliament. While the Bill does not go far enough in tackling online disinformation, the Bill at least represents a first legislative attempt by the Government to address the important issue of disinformation.

Polis Analysis first submitted evidence to the pre-legislative scrutiny committee for the Online Safety Bill in 2021. We have been campaigning for the Bill to expand its scope to include action to tackle online disinformation, given the real threat posed to areas such as public health, election integrity and social trust in our democracy.

Polis Analysis has since worked with likeminded MPs, members of the House of Lords and other organisations to support the tabling of amendment 274B to the Online Safety Bill.

Polis Analysis will be monitoring the passage of the Online Safety Bill into law very closely and will if necessary contribute to the consultation process expected in the weeks after the Bill reaches Royal Assent.

In our multi-year campaign we have repeatedly made the argument that only a holistic approach to tackling online disinformation would prove effective. This means any legislative action aimed at tackling disinformation needs to be combined with a bottom-up approach that focuses on enhancing the media literacy and digital skills of social media users. Polis Analysis will be looking at policy options including updates to the education curriculum to ensure citizens have the skills required to be safe online.

Polis Analysis looks forward to continuing to produce research, work with likeminded partners and campaign on the need to protect our citizens from the dangers of online disinformation. We are determined to protect our democracy, public health and the integrity of our elections.

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