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INTERNET LAW - U.K. Statute Regulating Children’s Web Site Moderators
IBLS Editorial Department
Thursday, February 18, 2010
From October 12, 2009, pursuant to a commencement order expanding Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, organizations with interactive Web sites likely to be used mainly by children or vulnerable adults must ensure that staff moderating the sites are not barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Moderation of Websites is not mandatory, but failure to moderate could increase liability if Websites cause harm. This is another measure implemented in the United Kingdom to protection children online.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 provides that certain activities in relation to children and vulnerable adults are regulated. This is known as "regulated activity." Regulated activity is any activity which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults, whether it is paid or volunteer work. Online services are defined as regulated activities under the Act. It will be a criminal offense for an organization to knowingly employ a barred person for a regulated role which involves:
(a) monitoring the content of matter which forms any part of the service;
(b) removing matter from, or preventing the addition of matter to, the service; or
(c) controlling access to, or use of, the service.