On Tuesday 19 September the Online Safety Bill passed its final Parliamentary debate and is now ready to become law. This is expected to happen imminently.

From wikipedia this law applies to:

Within the scope of the Bill is any "user-to-user service". This is defined as an internet service by means of which content that is generated by a user of the service, or uploaded to or shared on the service by a user of the service, may be read, viewed, heard or otherwise experienced ("encountered") by another user, or other users.

This will obviously apply to large companies that offer social media services, but what about smaller operations? Obvious and old style examples include an individual with a personal blog that allows comments, or a club website with a for sale section. More modern examples would include anyone who hosts an ActivityPub node such as a mastodon server. An extreme interpretation would be anyone who has a cryptocurrency blockchain connected to the network, or even anyone who downloads/distributes linux distros over bittorrent.

What are the limits on the scope of the Online Safety Bill as related to individuals or small organisations who may host content that they did not personally create?

1 Answer 1


The Act only applies to “Regulated user-to-user services”

Schedule 1 contains a long list of exemptions.

Blogs with comments are exempt as long as only the owner can make the initial post and it doesn't host pornography.

The club with the for sale section would be captured by the Act. As would a node hoster.

The size of the organisation is not a relevant factor.

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