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ACM Opinion

U.K. Online Safety Bill Is Doomed to Fail


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Dramatic HDR photo of England's Palace of Westminster on the River Thames.

No one would argue against the bill's stated aims, but policing content on the Web is no easy task.

On the face of it, the Online Safety Bill (OSB) should be in for an easy ride. Enjoying cross-party support in Parliament and promoted by prominent children's charities, 81% of U.K. adults want senior tech managers to be appointed and held legally responsible for stopping children being harmed by social media, according to a recent YouGov poll.

But however well-intentioned, the OSB, which is currently heading to the Lords, will almost certainly fail in its stated objective of protecting children from online harms. Instead, it may usher in measures that will be detrimental to privacy, innovation, and freedom.

From Computing
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