Christine Jardine MP on online abuse and intimidation

Christine Jardine, Lib Dem MP and DCMS spokesperson, has called for a stronger framework to protect people from online abuse and intimidation. 

Reflecting on her own experiences of online abuse during the election campaign in the debate which took place,
Christine said: 

"During the General Election I was one of those who discovered just how easily an online platform can be used to spread hurtful or personally abusive lies.

"During the break in campaigning as a mark of respect following the Manchester attack I was accused on social media, by an activist from another party, of ignoring that and going out campaigning.

"I had, in fact, been at my husband’s funeral.

"On a day when I was coping with my own and my family’s grief I had to put up with the mindless, vindictive online attacks which followed.

"I know my own experience is far from the worst example. It is time those of us in parliament, with the support network and the
strength to resist this kind of intimidation, do something to protect those who do not.

"The current online 'free for all' leaves those who are far more vulnerable than I open to the sort of mindless bullying that can have devastating consequences.

"We must tell abusers that they cannot exploit social media to indulge their own viciousness, be it anonymously or with impunity.

"We need a framework – as we have for every other media – which insists on respectful, non-abusive and non-defamatory publication."

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