Responding to the introduction of the Online Safety Bill1 to Parliament, aimed at establishing a new regulatory framework to tackle harmful content online, Dr Melody Redman, BMA board of science deputy chair, said:
“The introduction of the Online Safety Bill in parliament today is an important step in beginning to address the often-unsafe nature of the internet environment for children and young people.
"Far too many children have been exposed to sexually explicit material online and this material has been too accessible for too long. Children and young people are at increased risk of sexual abuse and harassment online and this has a harmful impact on children's health, wellbeing and relationships.
“An important part of preventing children accessing harmful sexual content online is ensuring adequate regulation and accountability of online platforms.
“As well as widescale preventative and safeguarding measures, it is also crucial that greater support is given to those who are having to address any issues that may present in children and young people due to exposure to inappropriate material. This includes parents, caregivers, and those working in educational settings."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- The Online Safety Bill as introduced in parliament – 17th March 2022.