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UK’s Online Safety Bill and the Threat to Free Speech

Recently, the Secretary of Technology and Science in the United Kingdom said that the government is considering putting CEOs of social media companies in jail if such executives fail to restrict anything that is deemed “harmful” to be posted on their platforms.

The government of the United Kingdom will be the one to decide what kinds of content are deemed inappropriate for its citizens to watch or listen to.

Michelle Donelan is working toward the goal of having anyone who breaches the Online Safety measure in the UK arrested. The Online Safety Bill is a censorship measure that will, in essence, make it illegal for private internet users to engage in end-to-end encryption. The law makes use of the broadcasting regulator Ofcom to restrict “all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote, or justify hatred” on the basis of a variety of progressive traits, one of which is transgenderism.

To this end, the government of the United Kingdom has the power to censure persons who, in their view, incite or justify hatred towards any particular community. Donelan and colleagues reserve the right to arrest anyone who violates the censorship policy.

If corporations fail to comply with the UK’s orders to remove or conceal posts that violate the coming censorship regime, they might face fines of up to 10% of their income, according to a report published by The Telegraph. In addition, the companies could be held in contempt of court.

Concerns about the erosion of free speech in the United Kingdom have been voiced by proponents of the right to express one’s opinions for some time now.

In a few instances, people have been punished for behavior that may appear to be unimportant, such as sending a tweet while intoxicated that made reference to deceased soldiers, wearing a t-shirt that opposed the police, calling someone an insulting name, singing a popular song, or demonstrating in front of a Scientology center while holding a sign that referred to the religion as a “cult.”

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