Wikipedia snubs invitation to emergency Government summit on tackling self-harm online

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WIKIPEDIA was last night named and shamed for not bothering to turn up to an emergency Government summit on how to tackle self-harm online.

Tech giants including Google and Facebook agreed to fund the Samaritans and to sign up to a new code of practice to take down harmful content at the meeting.

Getty – Contributor

Wikipedia snubbed an invitation to a Government summit on harmful online content for the second time this year[/caption]

But ministers were left fuming with Wikipedia for snubbing an invite to attend the major Whitehall summit for the second time this year.

It comes despite concerns their site breaches ethical codes by including detailed descriptions of suicide.

Heath Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to call bosses from the online encyclopaedia in for a grilling another time.

A Whitehall insider told The Sun: “Wikipedia did not bother to show up and the Samaritans have said they have not been very good at engaging with them.

‘DON’T BOTHER ENGAGING’

“Wikipedia have refused to engage with us. We want to engage constructively, but it is hard to believe they are taking this seriously if they don’t bother engaging.”

But Mr Hancock said good progress has been made with other tech giants at the meeting, including Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The companies have agreed to fund The Samaritans to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

And they have signed up in principle to new guidelines being drawn up by the suicide prevention charity to take down harmful content online.

Mr Hancock said: “We have made good progress today and there is still more to do – but I am determined to make sure that the internet and social media is made safer – especially for children.


“The crucial thing is that we have an independent body, The Samaritans, being able to be the arbiter of what is damaging content that needs taken down so all tech companies can follow the new rules that have been set out.

“I feel the tech companies are starting to get the message, they’re starting to take action – but there’s much more to do.”

The Sun has contacted Wikipedia for comment.

AFP or licensors

Heath Secretary Matt Hancock is set to confront the web giants on their absence[/caption]

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