The Bill focuses on user-generated content such as child sex exploitation and terrorism, but campaigners, including consumer champion Martin Lewis, have argued scams should fall within its remit.
Asked whether they would welcome fraud being covered by new regulation, Google and Facebook told MPs they think it would be a “challenge” to make it work.
“In terms of the Online Safety Bill itself, it’s designed for user-generated content and when you look at the sort of traits of user-generated content versus scams, they are quite different,” Amanda Storey, director of trust and safety at Google said to the Treasury Committee.
“The techniques for user-generated content and scams are quite different, I think that therefore the Online Safety Bill is not necessarily targeted in the way it would need to be to be efficient at tackling online scams, so I do think that needs to be considered.”
She added: “We haven’t waited for regulation, we’ve done everything that we can do to make sure scams are not appearing to users.”
Allison Lucas, content policy director at Facebook, also voiced her concern, saying: “I think that Ofcom would have to grapple with a lot of these issues and it would be a challenge to include fraud within this Bill.
“The user journey touches a number of touchpoints both online and offline before the fraud even takes place and so including it with this Bill comes with a lot of different challenges.”
Mr Lewis recently renewed calls for fraud to be covered by the Bill, telling new Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries that the omission is “catastrophic to million’s wealth and mental health”.
“May I plead with you to include scam adverts in the Online Safety Bill alongside scam user content,” he tweeted.
“The distinction is arbitrary and impractical.”Internet Explorer Channel Network