Understanding the implications of the Online Safety Act 2023 for social media users


12 April 2024

By Sabina Theobald

The Online Safety Act 2023 has recently passed as a new law with the intention of protecting children from explicit content online and on social media platforms.

This Act imposes duties on service providers such as Tiktok and snapchat to identify, mitigate, and manage risks of harms which contain illegal content and content that is harmful to children. Should social media platforms fail to do, they could be fined by Ofcom.

This law makes the following a criminal offence:

  • False communications – conveying information known to be false with the intention to cause harm
  • Threatening communications- messages are sent to impose a threat of harm or serious harm
  • Encouraging or assisting serious self-harm or suicide
  • Cyber-flashing – sending unsolicited explicit images or videos with the intention to cause harm, distress or humiliation or for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification
  • Sharing or threatening to share intimate photographs or films without consent

More recently, the first man to be convicted under the Online Safety Act was imprisoned for 8 months after he sent several threatening messages to a woman and intimidated her with visits to her home address.

If you fall to be interviewed in relation to Online Safety Act related offences, expert representation is essential. Gepp Solicitors have a proven outstanding record in terms of dealing with cases.

If you have queries in respect of representation relating to such matters, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01245 493939 or via email at criminal@gepp.co.uk.