Minister does not deny plans to curb use of social media by under-16s

17 December 2023, 11:14

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden
Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. Picture: PA

The plans could see teenagers required to gain their parents’ permission before setting up an account on sites, according to reports.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden did not deny reports that the UK Government is considering restricting the use of social media by under-16s.

It has been reported the Government is considering launching a consultation in the new year around possible restrictions being placed on those under the age of 16 using social media platforms, in an effort to bolster UK online safety laws.

According to reports, the plans could see teenagers required to gain their parents’ permission before setting up an account on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Asked about it on the Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips programme on Sky News, he said: “You’ll have to wait for announcements in that area.

“I don’t think we’ve actually made a formal policy announcement.”

He added: “What I do think, and I saw this when I was digital secretary, and I see it speaking to my constituents and elsewhere, there’s a real worry from parents about how they can protect their children from the harms of social media.

“Now, of course, as a Conservative, I don’t want to reach for a lever of banning, but we need to look at how we can protect children online, and I think any reasonable government should do that.”

Science minister Andrew Griffith last week said it was about a “consultation that is rumoured to happen in the new year” and called it only “speculation”.

By Press Association

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