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New ‘online harm’ legislation is a threat to free speech (Independent)

Index on Censorship CEO Ruth Smeeth has voiced her concerns regarding the proposed Online Harms Bill. Smeeth wrote in The Independent that the legislation, though well intentioned, would risk campaigning for ‘cultural change’ and thus have a further impact on freedom of expression online.

“If that’s the case, then as a former politician I worry about the concept of legislating for cultural change,” Smeeth said, herself a victim of online abuse. “There is absolutely a problem online and it is causing real harm, but banning language rather than engaging in education programmes screams as a political fix rather than an actual solution.”

Read the full article here.

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