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Matt Hancock calls for stricter regulations on social media sites at NSPCC conference

PUBLISHED: 17:05 20 June 2018

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock Picture: PAUL GEATER

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

Social media networks should have a legal duty to protect their users from harm, West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has said.

Mr Hancock, who is also Digital Secretary, made the statement at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) annual conference today.

He said social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, should have a “duty of care” to users.

The Government will set out new laws to regulate social networks this autumn as part of the internet safety strategy – but it is not yet known what they will look like.

Addressing the conference, Mr Hancock said: “Social media platforms are effectively public spaces. And the owner of any public space, online or offline, has a duty of care to the public who are invited in.”

He added: “Technology is made by humanity. So we can shape it for the benefit of humanity. And we must. The stakes are high and the challenge is great. But it can be done. So let us rise to that challenge, together.”

The NSPCC wants to see social networks forced to build protections for children into their platforms, and publish annual safety reports.

NSPCC boss Peter Wanless told the conference the UK was at a landmark moment in child safety online.

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