Petition To Make ID A Requirement For Social Media Gathers Momentum Following Euro 2020 Racial Abuse

Berlin, Germany - 05 28 2016:  Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Snapchat, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp etc.
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A petition by UK reality star Katie Price to make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account has gone viral in light of the recent online racial attacks against black soccer players.

The petition was created three months ago and was originally made because Price’s disabled son has been a victim of online bullying. Price created the petition in hopes of changing laws to better protect her son from anonymous trolls.

“Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID,” the petition states.

“Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs.”

However, the petition has gained traction online again because of the recent racial attacks on three English soccer players.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have all been victims of racial abuse online after their team lost the EURO 2020 match.

All three players received an influx of harassment and racist comments on their social media accounts after the match.

A mural of Rashford was also defaced in a way that police have called, “racially aggravated.”

The abuse became so widespread and impossible to ignore, even Prince William took to Twitter to denounce the racist behaviour.

The majority of the abuse the players were coping were from anonymous social media accounts.

This kind of anonymous online abuse is not uncommon. However, Price’s petition wants to make it impossible for people to create anonymous online accounts.

Price reshared her petition, which already had over 180,000 signatures.

Twitter users including, fellow professional athletes have been resharing the petition on social media.

 

The petition now has over 650,000 signatures, and only needs 100,000 signatures for parliament to consider it for debate.

However, the government responded to the petition in May and said: “The government recognises concerns linked to anonymity online, which can sometimes be exploited by bad actors seeking to engage in harmful activity.

“However, restricting all users’ right to anonymity, by introducing compulsory user verification for social media, could disproportionately impact users who rely on anonymity to protect their identity.”

Still, this rejuvenated interest in the petition could lead to the government addressing the issue further.

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Bukayo Saka Euro 2020 Jadon Sancho Katie Price Marcus Rashford online petition Social Media

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