New national service launched to assist public in reporting online harmful content

Over the last 2 years SWGfL has successfully worked with industry to take down over 21,000 pieces of harmful content. As a partner within the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), SWGfL is launching a new reporting centre to assist the public in reporting online abuse and harmful content: Report Harmful Content Online.

Report Harmful Content supports victims of online harmful content and abuse and includes a revolutionary new reporting and advice system. The service provides up to date information on community standards and direct links to the correct reporting facilities across multiple platforms.

Further support is available to users who would like the outcome of their reports reviewed. Report Harmful Content Online will check submitted reports and industry responses against platform-specific reporting procedures and community standards in order to provide users with further advice on actions they can take.

Advice is provided on online issues such as bullying, harassment, threats, impersonation, unwanted sexual advances, violent content, suicide, self-harm and pornographic content.

Margot James, Digital Minister said

The government is working with a wide range of organisations to ensure users, particularly children, have the tools they need to have positive experiences online. I'm pleased to see South West Grid for Learning’s strong commitment to this aim and I hope this will be a useful resource in empowering all users of the internet in the UK to stay safe online.

Why this and why now?

When it comes to reporting harm online, Project deSHAME (Dec 17) found that only 39% of young people aged 13 - 17 would be likely to report online sexual harassment to a social network.

The Safer Internet Day Digital Friendships research (Feb 18) found that just over half of young people aged 8 – 17 would choose to report something that upset them online.

Similarly, Ofcom’s Adult Media Use and Attitudes annual report (April 18) found that a staggering 59% of adults aged 16+ would choose not to report a negative experience online.

The UK Safer Internet Centre already provides reporting for illegal child sexual abuse material online via the IWF Hotline, and the Report Harmful Content Online hub extends this responsibility into harmful online content.

David Wright, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and SWGfL said

“This service extends the reporting capability of UK Safer Internet Centre to support victims of harmful content online. We have been at the forefront of online safety for decades and this new service continues to demonstrate our contribution in helping make the UK the safest place to be online.”

Will Gardner, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet said

“We are very pleased to see Report Harmful Content Online launch as it helps meet a very obvious and urgent need for all internet users. SWGfL, as part of their work with the UK Safer Internet Centre, work at the front end of online safety and this new service continues to demonstrate their innovativeness as well as passion for making the UK the safest place to access the internet in the world.”

Access ReportHarmfulContent.online

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