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Amendment to Online Safety Bill will give greater powers to tackle child abuse online

Greater powers to tackle child sexual abuse online will be introduced through an amendment to the Online Safety Bill at Report stage, the Home Secretary has announced.

The Public Bill Committee of the House of Commons has completed its work scrutinising the Online Safety Bill and has reported the Bill with amendments to the House. The Bill is now due to have its report stage and third reading over two days, the first day being 12 July with proceedings concluding on 20 July. Amendments can be made to the Bill at Report Stage.

The amendment will give Ofcom extra tools to ensure technology companies take action to prevent, identify and remove harmful child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE) content.

Ofcom, the UK's regulatory authority for telecommunications, will be able to demand that technology companies such as social media platforms roll out or develop new technologies to better detect and tackle harmful content on their platforms. If they fail to do so, Ofcom will be able to impose fines of up to £18 million or 10 per cent of the company's global annual turnover, depending on which is higher.

For the government's announcement, click here. To follow progress of the Bill, click here.