It may have been more straight out of The Thick of It than Compton, but Nadine Dorries seemed undeterred.
In a move that drew a somewhat mixed reaction, the Culture Secretary launched an explanation of the Government’s Online Safety Bill in the form of a 41-second rap on TikTok.
“It’s effectively a framework to protect internet users / Against scams, illegal content and anonymous abusers,” Dorries rhymes about the legislation that will require tech companies to protect children and adults from harmful online content .
In the clip, shot in his office and posted from his account on the streaming platform, other lines inserted into the rap include apparent ripostes to activists who have suggested the proposals are a “recipe for censorship”.
“But is it true that this will have an impact on freedom of expression?” the minister asks, before images of sections of the bill appear as she adds: ‘No…we have legal protections in place in the 19th section.’
The clip is mild compared to previous social media interventions by Dorries, who has earned a reputation for taking a particularly combative approach to using Twitter.
However, many were still unprepared to rap TikTok.
Matthew Lesh, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, subscribers reassured“This ‘rap’ by Nadine Dorries is very emotionally distressing and lacks a reasonable excuse. Fortunately, this will soon be illegal under the new harm-based communication offense in the Online Safety Bill.
The TikTok clip emerged on Thursday as controversy continued to swirl around separate developments directly related to the Culture Secretary’s filing.
CBBC, BBC Four and Radio 4 Extra will close and become online-only services, the company said, in response to Dorries’ decision to freeze license fees at £159 for the next two years.
Channel 4 also responded to a tweet by Dorries, who claimed that plans to privatize the television network would attempt to “free up Channel 4” so that it could increase investment in programming.
“A proposal has been made, in response to a request from DCMS, showing how C4 could potentially raise a small amount of outside capital,” tweeted Channel 4 press office.