The English Premier League has welcomed the ‘Online Safety Bill’, which it hopes will receive strong support from MPs during this week’s Second Reading in the House of Commons, so that online abuse — a serious issue in football — can be curbed.
A statement put out by Premier League on Monday said that, “Online abuse is a serious issue in football, from the grassroots and throughout the professional game and we commend the government for bringing forward this world-first legislation to create a safer online environment and hold social media companies to account.”
The government has strengthened the bill in a number of important areas, and the Premier League said it welcomed the designation of ‘hate crime’ as priority illegal content.
“We welcome the designation of hate crime as priority illegal content on the face of the Bill, which means that platforms have an active duty to minimise exposure to such content. We welcome the new anonymity provisions, which mean that ID verification must be offered as an option and users will have greater control over who can contact them and what they see online,” said the Premier League statement.
“We are pleased that the government has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations to reform the communications offences to include threatening and harassing behaviour online more clearly and that these will be included in the bill. This legislation is a promising first step towards creating a new era of accountability online,” said PL in the statement.