The Manx government has put in a request to its counterparts in the UK for laws focusing on online safety to be extended to the island.

The ‘Online Safety Bill’ will be heard for the final time in the House of Commons before being ascended to the House of Lords for consideration.

The main aims of the bill are: ‘the pressing need to protect children and tackle criminal activity online while preserving free speech, ensuring tech firms are accountable to their users, and empowering adults to make more informed choices about the platforms they use.’

The Department of Home Affairs has expressed an interest in having these laws applied to the island and has formally written to Westminster to say so.

A spokesperson for the department said: ‘The Isle of Man Government has asked the UK Government to include the ability to extend some (or all) of the UK Online Safety Bill to the Isle of Man.

‘This is not an unusual request, and gives the island the option to apply some parts of the UK law which it deems appropriate in our own context.’

The department has yet to supply a date for when the bill will come to the Isle of Man.

The bill contains 12 parts, each focusing on a different aspect of online regulation. Parts two to nine and 11 and 12 of this bill contain provision about the regulation by communications regulator OFCOM of certain internet services.

The bill also offers a clear definition for some terms for future cases involving online safety.

This bill will make social media platforms more transparent and accountable to their users.

Social media firms will be legally required to remove illegal content, take down material in breach of their own terms of service, and provide adults with greater choice over the content they see and engage with.

The bill’s advocates have labelled these measures as a ‘triple shield’ for users.

Websites will be made to share more information as to how its contents could be harmful to children, offering parents and guardians more information on how to keep children safe whilst engaging online.

Campaigner for the bill Lucy Alexander said: ‘The Online Safety Bill is a step in the right direction, it will hold social media accountable for protecting children online.

‘The new changes to the Bill will also see social media firms forced to publish risk assessments so that parents can see for themselves the dangers and risks that face children on these sites. It is time to prioritise the safety of our children and young people online.’

The new laws will also protect freedom of speech by removing any influence future governments could have on what private companies do about legal speech on their sites, or any risk that companies are motivated to take down legitimate posts to avoid sanctions.

The bill will also include new measures to make significant changes to the UK’s criminal law to increase protections for vulnerable people online by criminalising the encouragement of self-harm and the sharing of people’s intimate images without their consent.