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Petition Do not restrict our right to freedom of expression online.

We believe the Government's draft Online Safety Bill poses one of the greatest threats to free speech of any law in the UK in living memory. We are calling on the Government to remove provisions within the Bill which specifically target lawful expression.

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The right to free expression is the foundation of our democracy in the UK. The Online Safety Bill does nothing to help police deal with crime online but will force social media companies to act on lawful speech of any type that Ministers choose. The Government has a duty under human rights law to protect free speech and must remove requirements that specifically target lawful speech from the Bill.

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Other parliamentary business

Report on the draft Online Safety Bill to be debated by MPs

On Thursday 13 January, MPs will debate a report published by the Committee set up to consider the Government's draft Online Safety Bill, which will place new legal duties on social media and other online service providers to tackle harmful content on their platforms.

Watch the debate on Thursday: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/3e3fee3d-f56b-4866-8de4-8ee26cdace33

You can also read a transcript of the debate a few hours after it has finished: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-01-13

The debate will begin after a debate on ongoing detention of Bahraini political prisoners.

This will be a general debate. General debates allow MPs to debate important issues, however they do not end in a vote nor can they change the law.

Find out more about how Parliamentary debates work:
https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/

Find out more about the Online Safety Bill

The Online Safety Bill is a proposed new law which will establish a regulatory framework to tackle harmful content online. A draft version of the Bill was published in May 2021, and Parliament is due to begin considering the final version of the Bill in the coming months.

Find out more about the draft Bill on the Government's website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/landmark-laws-to-keep-children-safe-stop-racial-hate-and-protect-democracy-online-published

Read the draft Bill and related documents: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-online-safety-bill

What is the Joint Committee on the Online Safety Bill?

The Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) has been appointed to consider the Government's draft Online Safety Bill. It's a cross-party committee made up of members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, and is independent of the Government.

Find out more about the Committee's work on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/534/draft-online-safety-bill-joint-committee/

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OnlineSafetyCom

This is a ‘Joint Committee’. Find out how Joint Committees work: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/committees/joint/

Find out more about the Committee's report

The Joint Committee on the draft Online Safety Bill published its report looking at the Government's draft Bill on 14 December 2021. The report recommends several changes to the Bill.

Find out more about the report, including a comment from Damian Collins MP, Chair of the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/534/draft-online-safety-bill-joint-committee/news/159784/no-longer-the-land-of-the-lawless-joint-committee-reports/

Read the full report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt5802/jtselect/jtonlinesafety/129/12902.htm

The Government now must respond to the Committee's report.

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You can sign up to the UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/

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