The government law hasn’t passed yet and let’s hope it never does.
For it’s already clear that the Online Safety Bill is “a menace to our freedoms”.
It obliges social media firms to prevent an ever-growing list of taboo content from reaching users.
Last week, for example, it emerged that all videos of people crossing the Channel shown in “a positive light” are to be added to the list.
Posting such footage, said Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan,could be seen as aiding and abetting immigration offences.
The absurdity of this was quickly highlighted on Twitter, which was flooded with images of the Bayeux Tapestry and the evacuation of Dunkirk.
You can be sure that rather than trust their algorithms to deem whether images are “positive” or not, tech platforms will find it easier to censor all images of Channel crossings.
And the same will go for other issues – drug-taking, say, or illegal protests – that ministers might well also think to include.
Everyone wants to make children safer online, but this bill,“fast becoming a magnet for terrible ideas”, is not the way to go about it