Minister: Ofcom won’t be pressed to adopt IHRA

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Minister: Ofcom won’t be pressed to adopt IHRA

Minister Caroline Dinenage stressed that the media regular is 'independent from government' on the matter

Caroline Dinenage
Caroline Dinenage

The government has confirmed that it has no intention of pressing the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Its position was clarified by Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Caroline Dinenage in the House of Commons this week, in response to a question from fellow Conservative MP Bob Blackman.

“Ofcom is independent from government,” she said. “Regulatory decisions are a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom can have regard to the IHRA definition when determining complaints about antisemitic material broadcast on television and radio services.”

The question is becoming increasingly pertinent with regards to antisemitic hate speech on social media platforms, which does not meet the threshold of a criminal offence.

Two months ago, the Government set out “new expectations” on companies to keep their users safe online. Under a new legal duty of care, social media companies will need to tackle illegal antisemitic content and activity on their services.

In addition, companies providing “high-risk, high-reach services” will need to set clear terms and conditions stating what legal but harmful material they accept – and do not accept – on their service. This may include antisemitic hate speech.

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