Consultation: Protecting people from illegal harms online

  • Start: 09 November 2023
  • Status: Closed
  • End: 23 February 2024

This is the first of four major consultations that Ofcom, as regulator of the new Online Safety Act, will publish as part of our work to establish the new regulations over the next 18 months.

It focuses on our proposals for how internet services that enable the sharing of user-generated content ('user-to-user services') and search services should approach their new duties relating to illegal content.

We cover:

  • the causes and impacts of illegal harms;
  • how services should assess and mitigate the risks of illegal harms;
  • how services can identify illegal content; and
  • our approach to enforcement.

Our proposals reflect research we have carried out over the last three years, as well as evidence gathered through extensive engagement with industry and other experts.

How to read this consultation

  1. Start with a summary of our proposals (PDF, 463.4 KB) and a summary of each chapter (PDF, 469.7 KB). These tell you everything you need to know about the proposals that affect you.
  2. If you want to get into more detail, the six volumes explain our proposals in full.
  3. In the annexes, we've published first drafts of our codes of practice, risk assessment guidance and other guidance.

Main documents

Supporting documents


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