Sky’s group chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, has called on government to impose greater regulation of the internet.
In an article for The Times, Darroch says that according to Ofcom, social media sites are the “most commonly cited source of online harm”.
He says that despite commitments in the 2017 and 2019 manifesto and clear cross-party support no regulatory regime has emerged. This in contrast to Darroch’s own broadcasting industry, which he says “are subject to regulatory frameworks that set standards and prevent harm to consumers and society.”
Pointing to the 2019 general election – in which his former CFO Andrew Griffith was elected as MP for Arundel and South Downs – Darroch believes there was misinformation, online abuse and fake news.
Figures released by the NSPCC reveal that more than 25,000 offences involving child abuse images and sexual grooming have occurred since the publication of the government’s Online Harms White Paper nine months ago.
This has resulted in Lord McNally presenting a bill in the Lords to address the issue, which would ask Ofcom to prepare a duty-of-care obligation for online platforms, overseen by an independent and evidenced-based regulator.
Darroch says the government should follow Lord McNally and introduce its own bill and is writing to MPs to ask them to do so.