Menu

Login to access your account

Tue, 31 March 2020

Personalise Your Politics

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Coronavirus
By Policy Exchange
Coronavirus
Home affairs
New appointments this week in UK politics, the civil service and public affairs Member content
Home affairs
Press releases

Social media trolls who abuse MPs could be banned from standing for election

Social media trolls who abuse MPs could be banned from standing for election

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Online trolls who hammer political figures with vile abuse could be slapped with a ban from standing for election, the Government has announced.


Constitution Minister Chloe Smith said "talented people" were being held back from running for office by the scale of intimidation online.

And she said ministers would look at a crackdown on so-called fake news by forcing political material shared on the web to state clearly who is responsible for it.

A report by MPs in 2017 said social media abuse had played a "significant factor" in the run up to the general election that year.

Ms Smith said the proposed measures - to be consulted on - would "protect voters, candidates and campaigners".

She said people should be able to "make their choice at the ballot box or stand for public service without fear of being victims of misinformation or abuse".

A study by BuzzFeed News and the University of Sheffield last year found male Tory candidates were hit with the highest percentage of abuse on Twitter in the runup to the 2017 election.

A separate analysis by Amnesty International found Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott received almost half of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs ahead of the vote.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Jess Phillips has said she once received 600 death and rape threats in a single day.

And Twitter trolls who targeted Labour figures Luciana Berger, Stella Creasy and Angela Eagle have been charged with abuse.

Lord Bew, chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: “Intimidation presents a real threat to the integrity, diversity and vibrancy of our public life.

“People of all backgrounds should not be put off from standing for public office as a result of intimidatory behaviour.”

Categories

Home affairs
Partner content
The Cybersecurity Summit

Join Cyber Security and ICT professionals from across central government, local government, law enforcement and wider public sector, to tackle key issues at the heart of UK public sector.

Find out more

Partner content
NICE Annual Conference 2020

NICE 2020: Connecting evidence, people and practice showcases the latest developments in clinical improvement, health technologies and patient-centred quality care.

Find out more

Read more All
Coronavirus
Coronavirus
Coronavirus
Coronavirus
Coronavirus