A group of Tory peers led by Baroness Morgan have suggested an amendment to the UK’s already-dystopian Online Safety Bill to crack down on speech in order to “protect” girls and women from online abuse.
But who will protect girls and woman from government overreach?
Speaking to The Telegraph, Baroness Morgan said that the online world is still a “wild west” for girls and women and that the Online Safety Bill presented a chance to correct that.
“Too often, women and girls receive inadequate support from tech companies. They are left feeling isolated and forced offline,” she said.
“I have tabled an amendment calling for a Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Code of Practice to be written into the bill.
“There are already codes for other issues such as terrorism and child abuse, but a code is desperately needed to specifically address the harms to women and girls.”
The government insisted that the bill already protects women from such abuse.
“We are committed to tackling online abuse and violence against women and girls,” a spokesperson for the government said.
“In the Online Safety Bill, we have made it a priority for platforms to proactively tackle the most harmful illegal content which disproportionately targets women and girls. This includes revenge and extreme pornography, sex trafficking, harassment, coercive or controlling behavior and cyberstalking.
“The bill also includes tools that will give women, and all adults, greater control over what they see on social media, including content that is abusive or incites hatred on the basis of sex.”