US News: Diane Abbott demands crackdown on anonymity of online trolls as women MPs step down - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Diane Abbott demands crackdown on anonymity of online trolls as women MPs step down

14:45  31 october  2019
14:45  31 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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Shadow home secretary asks social media giants to record anonymous users’ identities.

Diane Abbott has revealed her staff try not to let her walk around her Hackney constituency alone after the murder of fellow Labour MP Jo Cox, as she “They are poisoning the political debate and putting off particularly young women from getting involved in political debate online and they must be putting

Diane Abbott et al. posing for the camera © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Diane Abbott has called for social media companies to make it harder for online trolls to remain “completely anonymous” as growing numbers of women MPs prepare to step down at the general election.

A recent study found that the shadow Home Secretary received nearly half of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she coped with online vitriol by “putting one foot in front of the other”, adding that the police were often unable to identify who aimed racist and sexist abuse in her direction.

Around one third of the 54 MPs who have so far announced they would step down at the election are women, with several citing the personal attacks they faced as a factor in their decision.

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Diane Abbot says online trolls could stop women taking high- profile jobs. Diane Abbott - MP. "And this is not an isolated example. I receive racist and sexist abuse online on a daily basis. Outspoken Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott holds strong opinions which does not always go down well.

Diane Julie Abbott (born 27 September 1953) is a British Labour Party politician and current Shadow Health Secretary. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the 1987 general election

'Huge rise' in abuse

Ms Abbott said: "The huge rise in online abuse - and obviously it’s addressed more to women than anybody else - has to do with anonymity online and my view is that we should make it harder for people to be anonymous online.

“They can have an anonymous identity but the website Twitter, Facebook, should have their real name and address. I believe that the fact that people are completely anonymous has made this problem worse.

a young boy wearing a blue shirt © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Nicky Morgan announced she will step down from parliament (Photo: Getty)

“When we try, when the police try and track down people who are abusing me, they find they can’t identify them. If Twitter, Facebook, and online had the people’s real name and address I think you’d be able to crack down on this.”

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Labour leader says shadow home secretary will be temporarily replaced by Lyn Brown after Abbott pulled out of two election events on Tuesday.

Related articles. Diane Abbott : Online trolls could stop women taking high- profile jobs. Abbott fears 'radicalisation' of white men after racist attacks Ms Abbott said she believed the abuse towards her was worse because she was a black, female MP. “If you're a woman you get a kind of abuse, the

Nicky Morgan, the Culture Secretary, cited the abuse she had suffered and its “clear impact” on her family as a factor in her surprise decision to step down at the election as the MP for Loughborough.

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Departures 'not surprising'

The former Tory cabinet minister Dame Caroline Spelman, who is bowing out as the MP for Meriden, told the Times: “Female candidates are deterred by the treatment of female politicians in the media and on social media.

“Sexually charged rhetoric has been prevalent in the online abuse of female MPs, with threats to rape us and referring to us by our genitalia.

"It is therefore not surprising that so many good female colleagues have decided to stand down at this election.”

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Jeremy Corbyn to cull ministerial team if he gains power after general election .
Labour leader likely to undertake reshuffle if he enters Number 10It comes as the Labour leader’s team is mulling a shake-up of the frontbench with plans to sack Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith and Margaret Greenwood from her Shadow Work and Pensions role.

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