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League backs 'stronger' online safety bill

Premier League supports adoption of Law Commission recommendations

The English Premier League has issued a statement saying it welcomes the Online Safety Bill and expressing hope that it will “receive strong support from MPs during this week's Second Reading in the House of Commons”.

The statement added: “Online abuse is a serious issue in football, from the grassroots and throughout the professional game and we commend the government for bringing forward this world-first legislation to create a safer online environment and hold social media companies to account.”

The Premier League said it was pleased that the government had listened to its views and “strengthened the bill in a number of important areas”, including:

- Hate Crime: we welcome the designation of Hate Crime as priority illegal content on the face of the Bill, which means that platforms have an active duty to minimise exposure to such content; - Anonymity: we welcome the new anonymity provisions, which mean that ID verification must be offered as an option and users will have greater control over who can contact them and what they see online; - Communications offences: we are pleased that the Government has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations to reform the communications offences to include threatening and harassing behaviour online more clearly and that these will be included in the Bill

“This legislation is a promising first step towards creating a new era of accountability online,” the statement said.

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