This Morning viewers have criticised Nadine Dorries after an appearance on the ITV daytime show to discuss the online safety bill with hosts Phillip Schofield and Josie Gibson.
The Culture Secretary sat on the ITV sofa opposite the TV presenters, with Josie sitting in for Holly Willoughby after she tested positive for Covid-19, to provide assurances on the effectiveness of the new online abuse laws.
This comes amid fears that the legislation will not go far enough to regulate the power of big tech firms like Meta, formerly called Facebook, and Twitter.
Host Phillip picked out the issue of cyber-flashing in particular, which involves sending obscene pictures to strangers online, and asked the MP how the bill will prevent the unsolicited photos.
Nadine replied: “We’re talking about the main platforms that can cause the most harm - Meta, Twitter and Instagram, where the most harm is caused and those platforms have the tools and the technology to very easily pick up those things, identify them and remove them.
“I’ll give you an example - YouTube does that already now. It’s very difficult for a child, young people or anyone to access pornography on YouTube, because they will tell you, they have the tools to pick up those images.”
The minister then went on, saying: “What we’re doing via our risk assessments,” but then interrupted herself to say, “I don’t want to get into the technical detail because I think it will turn your viewers off.”
“But we have a way in the bill, using the regulator Ofcom to use those platforms to identify those images and remove them.”
Josie then brought up the issue of fraud advertising, noticing she had recently seen a fake advert using fellow ITV host Holly’s face to promote subscription diet pills.
Nadine said ad fraud will be illegal under the new bill, adding: “Online platforms will not be able to carry those.”
Phillip replied asking: “How are you going to police that?” to which Nadine said: “Again, this is quite technical - I apologise.”
But as Nadine again brought up the technicality of the issue, This Morning viewers were unimpressed and pointed to it as a means to dodge the question.
Taking to Twitter, one wrote: “So she assumes us viewers won’t understand the technical parts. Tell us the details. Or is it because she doesn’t know all the technician bits herself.”
A second posted: “‘Again it's technical’. Well, try us. Treat us like adults and just tell us.”
A third wrote: “Nadine Dorries saying “oh it’s too technical, I don’t want your viewers switching off”. Translated as “as usual I have no idea what I’m talking about or how it’ll work”.”
Another chimed: “Is Nadine Dorries's default answer when she doesn't understand things - 'Oh, that's too complicated to go into now'”
Phillip pushed the MP to answer, saying: “Try to make it not.”
Nadine laughed and then said: “We have a regulator Ofcom. Ofcom will be doing something called risk assessments and horizon scanning of the platforms.
“When they see any of those they will go straight to the platforms and say you are at risk, you have to carry out your own risk assessments.
“If they continue to carry them, Ofcom will be able to fine them 10 percent of their global annual turnover or individual named members of the platforms will be liable.”