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The petition was created three months ago and was originally made because Price’s disabled son has been a victim of online bullying.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.
I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.
It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 12, 2021
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.
— Katie Price (@KatiePrice) July 12, 2021
Twitter users including, fellow professional athletes have been resharing the petition on social media.
— Craig Keady (@CraigKeady) July 12, 2021
England lost the Euro final last night. Fair and square. Yet, their fans still seem to think it is okay to racially abuse 3 of their players, those who missed their penalties.
Let’s be the change. https://t.co/Fb008imbsz
— Jack Lester📚✏️ (@MrLesterSocial) July 12, 2021
Needs to happen!
— Dan Bentley (@dan_bentley1) July 12, 2021
Social media is lawless and damages lives. Sign the petition and demand change
Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account: https://t.co/uRqWyu7oaa
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) July 12, 2021
‼️Get this signed & retweeted‼️
Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account. – Petitions https://t.co/JRIbMZF3b8
— Vicky McClure (@Vicky_McClure) July 12, 2021
Petition: Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account. https://t.co/1HPGsx3onR
SIGN THIS. HELP MAKE THE CHANGE.
— Joe Weller (@joe_weller_) July 12, 2021
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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