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Joint Committee looks into freedom of speech, journalism and children’s rights in the Online Safety Bill

21 October 2021

The Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill is hearing from civil society, academics and industry on the issues of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the duties to protect children in the Online Safety Bill.


Thursday 21 October 2021

At 9:45am

  • Professor Richard Wilson, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Intellectual Life, Gladstein Chair and Professor of Anthropology and Law, University of Connecticut
  • Barbora Bukovska, Senior Director, Law and Policy, Article 19
  • Matthew D’Ancona, journalist formerly of Index on Censorship, currently Editor at Tortoise Media
  • Silkie Carlo, Director, Big Brother Watch

At 11:15am

  • Gavin Millar QC
  • Alison Gow, President, Society of Editors
  • Matt Rogerson, Director of Public Policy, Guardian Media Group
  • News Media Association
  • Peter Wright, Editor Emeritus, DMG Media

At 12:15pm

  • Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media
  • Professor Jonathan Haidt, New York University

The Draft Online Safety Bill includes a duty on platforms to uphold freedom of speech. In a first session, the Committee will be hearing from experts on the issue: the University of Connecticut’s Professor Richard Wilson, Big Brother Watch Executive Director Silkie Carlo, Article 19’s Barbora Bukovská, and former Index on Censorship journalist Matthew d’Ancona.

The Draft Bill also includes specific provisions to protect the freedom of the press online. In a second session the Committee will hear from media lawyer Gavin Millar QC from Matrix Chambers, as well as the Daily Mail’s editor emeritus Peter Wright, The Guardian’s Matt Rogerson, and Society of Editors President Alison Gow.

Lastly, to hear evidence on the child-specific provisions in the Bill, the Committee will take testimony from child-safety experts Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, and Professor Jonathan Haidt from New York University.

Further information