Written evidence submitted by The Department of Media and Communications (Media@LSE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (OSB0001)


This document is submitted following the Online Safety Bill (OSB) Briefing organised by The Department of Media and Communications (Media@LSE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The briefing took place Thursday, July 8, 2021,9:00 AM – 1:30 PM as a virtual event over Zoom, and was attended by 108 people from a range of sectors. Following an introduction to the Bill a representative from DCMS, three panel discussions addressed regulatory independence and the Duty of Care; collective harm, individual harm and exceptions; and the public and their responsibilities in the Bill.

Speakers included: Imran Ahmed (Center for Countering Digital Hate), Dr Edina Harbinja (Aston), Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE (LSE), Graham Smith (Bird & Bird), Dr Damian Tambini (LSE), Glen Tarman (Full Fact), Professor Lorna Woods (University of Essex) and Richard Wronka (Ofcom) and a representative from DCMS’ Security and Online Harms Directorate, who introduced the Bill to attendees.

This submission summarises the key concerns about the Bill that arose during the briefing, for consideration by the Joint pre-legislative scrutiny Committee. A full recording of the briefing can be viewed here, and we are happy to provide further information to the Committee or staff of the Committee if required.

Priorities for pre-legislative scrutiny


Several areas of concern were identified during the briefing for further consideration by the Committee. We order the points below according to the categories of questions that the Committee sets out in its call for evidence.



Content and services in scope


The role of Ofcom and regulatory responsibility

Algorithms and user agency




Further Reading


Center for Countering Digital Hate: Stop Funding Fake News Report

Why is media literacy prominent in the UK’s draft Online Safety Bill 2021? Sonia Livingstone, Media@LSE blog

LSE and Ofcom: Rapid Evidence Assessment on Online Misinformation and Media Literacy Final report for Ofcom

The education data governance vacuum: why it matters and what to do about it - Emma Day, 5 Rights

The Online Safety Bill is being opposed on “free speech” grounds—but we urgently need protection from platforms - Damian Tambini, Prospect Magazine

U.K.’s Online Safety Bill: Not That Safe, After All? – Edina Harbinja, Lawfare