The Government’s plans to regulate social media risk falling significantly short when it comes to protecting children from online abuse, a new report from the NSPCC says.
The children’s charity said it believes there are major shortfalls in the draft Online Safety Bill currently being examined by MPs and peers, and the Government risks failing to meet its ambition to make the internet safe for children.
It comes as the NSPCC published new figures which show a 78% increase in police reports of child sexual abuse offences involving an online element in the last four years, which it says shows how important strong regulation is.
According to figures obtained by the charity, the number of online child sexual offences has risen from 5,458 in 2016/17 to 9,736 in 2020/21.
The charity’s report urges the Government to significantly strengthen its draft legislation in a number of areas, warning it currently does not do enough to stop abuse spreading between apps or to disrupt behaviour that facilitates abuse.
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