Anonymity facilitating online abuse - Lockhart

Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart has sponsored a Private Members Bill in the House of Commons aimed at addressing the issue of online anonymity and online abuse.

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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The Bill was moved today in Parliament by Conservative MP Siobhan Baillie, and supported by Mrs. Lockhart.

Commenting Carla Lockhart said:

“Online abuse is now so woven into the World Wide Web that it is actually taking many platforms over. A cursory glance at almost any time on Twitter will reveal a barrage of online abuse, emanating almost entirely from anonymous accounts.

This enabling of abuse through free access and importantly zero protection from anonymous accounts needs to be stopped. The Online Harms Bill offers much but in this regard it falls short. It is my hope that MPs will rally behind this Bill to ensure action on this most fundamental issue is taken. We have seen in recent days the torrent of abuse aimed at local politicians. I myself am subjected to this daily and have been for years. It must be addressed.

This Bill would allow users to block those who refuse to verify their identity from any engagement with them. It would be hugely beneficial and protect users, allowing them to use social media without the fear that exists today. I hope the Government act by either bolstering the Online Harms Bill or endorsing this Bill.”

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