Social Media: Harassment

Leader of the House written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Independent, Dudley North

To ask the Leader of the House, what assessment he has made of the effect on political debate and discussion of anonymous abuse and threats on social media.

Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

Democracy is a cornerstone of British values and key to a healthy democracy is having respectful, vibrant and open debate. However, this freedom cannot be an excuse to cause harm or spread hatred and a line is crossed when disagreement mutates into intimidation, violence or abuse. The Government recognises that rising levels of intimidation in public life can stop talented people, particularly women and those from minority backgrounds, from standing for public office. In April this year, the Government published the Online Harms White Paper, which sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

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