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The online safety bill will show just how blurred the boundaries of free speech are | Gaby Hinsliff

Technology | The Guardian

Ofcom and big tech will be told to do more, but do we want them to decide who’s allowed to say what

Consequences matter. If there was one clear message from football’s temporary boycott of social media earlier this month, in protest at the torrent of online hate experienced disproportionately by black players, that was it.

The former England striker Ian Wright has said that he’d almost given up reporting the vile stuff he receives daily because nothing ever seemed to happen to the perpetrators. “It makes you feel very dehumanised. You feel like there’s nothing you can do, you’re helpless,” he said. So two cheers, at least, for the inclusion in this week’s Queen’s speech of a long-delayed online safety bill aimed at holding big tech more accountable. Who wouldn’t agree with the culture secretary Oliver Dowden’s desire to rid social media of what he called “the bile and the threats”?

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May 14th 2021, 2:23 am
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