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In Ñspel: The Guardian view on digital dangers: after Molly Russell, MPs must act

‘Protecting children and other people who are vulnerable to the various forms of online harm, while also defending free expression, is a difficult circle to square.’ Photograph: devenorr/Alamy
‘Pṛtctñ ćildṛn n uɖr ppl hu r vulnṛbl t ɖ verịs formz v onlîn harm, ẃl olso dfndñ fri xpreśn, z a dificlt srcl t sqer.’ Foṭgraf: deṿnor/Aḷmi

Ɖ Gardịn vy on dijitl denjrz: aftr Moli Rúsl, MPz mst act

(Transcription of an editorial published in the Guardian on 4 October 2022)

Insṭgram n Pinṭrest léd ɖ tīnejr dǎn a slf-dstructv paʈ. Ny onlîn-sefti meźrz c’nt cm sn inuf

Tyzde 4 Octobr 2022

Last wīc’s inqestrūlñ ɖt sośl mīdia cntribytd t Moli Rúsl’z deʈ wz ɖ cnd v vindceśn fr hr peṛnts ɖt no faṃli wd ćūz. Wɖ hr faɖr, Iyn Rúsl, actñ az spocsprsn, Moli’z reḷtivz hv fòt ẃt mst hv bn an xpśṇli penfl batl, sins ɖ 14-yir-old tc hr ǒn lîf in 2017, t si ɖ téc̦umṗniz ɖt r partli rsponsbl hld t acǎnt. Ɖ coṛnr’z indorsmnt v ɖer vy ɖt Meta, ẃć ǒnz Insṭgram n Fes-bc, n Pinṭrest hd léd a dprest grl dǎn a darc paʈ v dstrbñ content z a tsṭmnt t ɖ faṃli’z cmitmnt t mc ɖ inṭnet a sefr ples.

Lejsleśn t pṛtct yuñ ppl fṛm denjṛs onlîn content hz bn in ɖ pîplîn fr a loñ tîm – sins ɖ yir v Moli’z deʈ, in fact, ẃn a grīn pepr wz pṛdyst. It wz pōzd in Jlî t mc spes fr ɖ no-confidns mośn ɖt topld Boris Jonsn. Ɖen, in Sptmbr, Liz Trus indcetd ɖt it wd b wōtrd dǎn, tecñ on bōrd cnsrnz vôst bî fri-spīć campenrz, includñ hr līdrśp rîvl Cemi Baḍnoc, abt ɖ pṛpozd ny caṭgri v pṛhibtd “līgl bt harmfl” content.

Pṛtctñ ćildṛn n uɖr ppl hu r vulnṛbl t ɖ verịs formz v onlîn harm, ẃl olso dfndñ fri xpreśn, z a dificlt srcl t sqer. Bt on Munde it wz a rlif t hír ɖ ny culćrsecṛtri, Miśél Doṇḷn, riiṭret ɖ guvnmnt’s bacñ fr r’bust meźrz t fors técbizṇsz t pt ćildṛn’z welfér bfr profits. It z a deṛlix́n v dyti fr poḷtiśnz t hv alaud ɖ steṭs qo t psist fr az loñ az ɖe hv. Coṛnr Andru Wōcr’z dscripśn v alġriɖmicli jeṇretd “binjpirịdz”, in ẃć Moli wz féd iṃjz includñ nūsz n bledz ɖt īvn a sîcaytrist faund sîc̣lojicli dstrbñ, śd b a wec-up cōl fr enwn hu opozz reğleśn.

Bt ẃl ɖ bil’z rtrn t parḷmnt śd b welcmd on grǎndz v its ćîldsefti sx́nz, ɖ ny pǎrz it wl grant t Ofcm r far fṛm a paṇsīa. Ɖ banñ v “līgl bt harmfl” mtirịl z unwrc̣bl, n wd b lîcli t līd t undizîṛbl formz v snsrśp. Ẃɖr ministrz cm p wɖ an oltrṇtiv form v wrdz, or dić ɖs aspect v ɖ bil oltgɖr, ɖ pṛliḟreśn v onlîn misinḟmeśn n abys z lîcli t cntiny. Anɖr risc z ɖt meźrz dzînd t pṛtct ćildṛn, bî forsñ big téc t prîoṛtîz ɖer sefti, wɖ ɖ ʈret v hyj fainz or ɖ blocñ v ɖer saits, wl b oversold bî ministrz – so ɖt peṛnts n uɖr adults wl b’liv ol ʈrets hv bn rmuvd.

A ʈrd probḷm z ɖ lîclihd v reğḷtri capćr, n ɖ anti-cmpettiv invîrnmnt ɖt ɖs cn cntribyt t. Ɖ big bizṇsz ɖt olrdi hv oṿẃlmñ dominns v ɖ inṭnet r adpt at wrcñ wɖ reğletrz, ẃl ćaḷnjrz wl fînd it far hardr. It strećz cṛdyḷti ɖt a guvnmnt ɖt hz md a pônt v opozñ reğleśn, az a brōd prínsipl, wl tec sirịsli ɖ nīd fr Ofcm t b proprli rzorst n indipndnt.

Bt nn v ɖs dz enʈñ t unḍmain ɖ aćivmnt v Moli Rúsl’z faṃli. Jujñ fṛm ɖ evidns, hr faɖr’z dscripśn v a “dmntd trel v lîf-sucñ content” wz apt. Pṛtctñ uɖr ćildṛn fṛm similr xpirịnsz śd nt b a parti-p’liticl iśu. MPz fṛm ol sîdz śd cmit t enśurñ ɖt in fyćr ɖe wl nt b pôntd twdz sć mtirịl.

Instroduction to Ñspel