New Clause 3 - Duty not to act against users except in accordance with terms of service

Online Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:45 pm ar 15 Rhagfyr 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

“(1) A provider of a Category 1 service must operate the service using proportionate systems and processes designed to ensure that the provider does not—

(a) take down regulated user-generated content from the service,

(b) restrict users’ access to regulated user-generated content, or

(c) suspend or ban users from using the service,

except in accordance with the terms of service.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be read as preventing a provider from taking down content from a service or restricting users’ access to it, or suspending or banning a user, if such an action is taken—

(a) to comply with the duties set out in—

(i) section 9(2) or (3) (protecting individuals from illegal content), or

(ii) section 11(2) or (3) (protecting children from content that is harmful to children), or

(b) to avoid criminal or civil liability on the part of the provider that might reasonably be expected to arise if such an action were not taken.

(3) In addition, nothing in subsection (1) is to be read as preventing a provider from—

(a) taking down content from a service or restricting users’ access to it on the basis that a user has committed an offence in generating, uploading or sharing it on the service, or

(b) suspending or banning a user on the basis that—

(i) the user has committed an offence in generating, uploading or sharing content on the service, or

(ii) the user is responsible for, or has facilitated, the presence or attempted placement of a fraudulent advertisement on the service.

(4) The duty set out in subsection (1) does not apply in relation to—

(a) consumer content (see section (Interpretation of this Chapter));

(b) terms of service which deal with the treatment of consumer content.

(5) If a person is the provider of more than one Category 1 service, the duty set out in subsection (1) applies in relation to each such service.

(6) The duty set out in subsection (1) extends only to the design, operation and use of a service in the United Kingdom, and references in this section to users are to United Kingdom users of a service.

(7) In this section—

‘criminal or civil liability’ includes such a liability under the law of a country outside the United Kingdom;

‘fraudulent advertisement’ has the meaning given by section 35;

‘offence’ includes an offence under the law of a country outside the United Kingdom.

(8) See also section 16 (duties to protect news publisher content).”—

This new clause imposes a duty on providers of Category 1 services to ensure that they do not take down content or restrict users’ access to it, or suspend or ban users, except in accordance with the terms of service.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.