Nadine Dorries says online trolls ‘wanted to see her burned alive' as she vows to press forward with reforms

Asia's Tech News Daily

Nadine Dorries is calling an end to online hate which has “poisoned public life”, revealing that online trolls have “wanted to see her burned alive”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the Culture Secretary reflected on the online abuse faced by MPs in the wake of Sir David Amess’ death and pledged to press forward with reforms.

Referencing threats and abuse, Ms Dorries shared how one person anonymously told her  “they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car, and watch ‘the flames melt the flesh on my face’”.

The person, she said, was eventually tracked to a dorm room at Oxford University.

She added: “Online hate has poisoned public life. It’s often unbearable and it has to end.”

Ms Dorries is calling on Government to strengthen the upcoming Online Safety Bill, to ensure media companies protect users from anonymous abuse.

Ms Dorries wrote: “The police already have the powers, but social media companies need to hand over the data more quickly and rapidly remove the content themselves. Finally, this Bill will force platforms to stop amplifying hateful content via their algorithms.

“And here’s the bottom line. If social media companies fail in any of those duties, they’ll face a financial hammer blow. Ofcom will be able to fine them up to 10 per cent of their annual global turnover.

“But big tech can – and must – do more right now. These are some of the most technologically sophisticated, wealthiest companies in the world. They have the tools to tackle hatred. Too many times, they’ve jeopardised people for profit.”

The sentiments come as Twitter bosses call for “far more clarity”, on social media regulation posed by the Online Safety Bill.

The draft bill proposes to grant Ofcom the powers to monitor social media sites and the power to levy fines on platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, of up to £18m which fail to comply with the new laws.

Ofcom would also be given the power to block services in the UK if they are deemed to present a risk of significant harm to UK citizens.

Katy Minshall, head of UK public policy, argued the draft Online Safety Bill does not address key concerns and risks leaving the regulator Ofcom with a lot to “muddle through”.

Ms Minshall added that plans to fine rule-breaking companies posed an “almost existential” threat.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson insisted new internet safety laws will impose “criminal sanctions with tough sentences” on firms allowing “foul content” on their platforms.

Ms Dorries continued: “Enough is enough. Social media companies have no excuses. And once this Bill passes through Parliament, they will have no choice.

“If you’re in the public eye, and particularly if you’re a woman, death threats and online abuse are the backdrop to your daily life. It’s a dark, foreboding cloud that follows you everywhere you go.

“David’s death has brought into sharp relief the danger that MPs face on a near-constant basis.”

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