Government updates draft online safety bill to tackle anonymous abuse
The UK Government is to strengthen the provisions of its draft online safety bill in a bid to crack down on anonymous social media abuse.
Digital secretary Nadine Dorries said a new requirement will mean large social media sites must provide users with the ability to block people who have not verified their identity. Sites will also have to give users options for opting out of seeing harmful content.
The aim is to reduce the kind of trolling from anonymous accounts that is often levelled at female politicians via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Tech firms have a responsibility to stop anonymous trolls polluting their platforms,” Dorries said.
“We have listened to calls for us to strengthen our new online safety laws and are announcing new measures to put greater power in the hands of social media users themselves.
“People will now have more control over who can contact them and be able to stop the tidal wave of hate served up to them by rogue algorithms.”
The changes have been made in part in response to the online racist abuse suffered by English footballers following the Euro 2020 final last year.
Edleen John, director of international relations and corporate affairs at the Football Association, said the additions to the bill represented “a helpful first step” in tackling the problem of online abuse.