New UK bill can fight fresh wave of online racist abuse
The Euros final and Grand Prix put online abuse once more in the spotlight. The UK’s Online Safety Bill provides a strong framework for tackling the problem.
The ugly online abuse targeted at members of the England football team following the Euros final, and then at Lewis Hamilton after the British Grand Prix, was not only hateful to the individuals concerned, but divisive for the UK more broadly.
More needs to be done to regulate online platforms to avoid the spread of such abuse at scale. Online platforms are making increasing efforts to ‘self-regulate’ in order to tackle online abuse. Over the past year, Facebook and Twitter have strengthened their policies on hateful speech and conduct, such as Facebook’s policy banning Holocaust denial. Both have become more vigilant at deplatforming those who violate their terms of service, such as Donald Trump, and at removing online abuse using a combination of machines and humans.
Twitter announced in the 24 hours following the Euros final that it had removed more than 1,000 tweets, and permanently suspended several accounts, for violating its rules. But inevitably not all abusive posts are picked up given the scale of the issue and, once the post has been seen, arguably the damage is done.
Platforms have also partnered with NGOs on initiatives to counter hate speech and have launched initiatives to tackle the rise in coordinated inauthentic behaviour and information operations that seek to sow distrust and division. But while these efforts are all laudable, they are not enough.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.
Latest News from
Will an EU oil price cap limit Russian aggression?07/12/2022 09:20:00
Unpacking the feverish debate behind the EU agreement for a $60 price cap on oil deliveries from Russia, and the geopolitical implications of the deal.
The future for global trade in a changing climate06/12/2022 13:38:00
What to know about the implications of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism on international trade.
China’s zero-COVID cannot continue, reopening is needed02/12/2022 12:20:00
Unsure of how to loosen rules, local officials have doubled down on severe restrictions behind so much economic damage. Reopening will quell public anger.
Journal of Cyber Policy launches diversity and inclusion initiative02/12/2022 09:15:00
Initiative will support the integration of diversity and inclusion practices throughout its processes and publications.
Indonesia shows the value of non-aligned leadership29/11/2022 10:20:00
Indonesia won’t always see eye-to-eye with the West, or with China, which makes it an important balancing force in Asia.
Boosterish Britain must now face harsh economic reality21/11/2022 13:38:00
The UK chancellor’s Autumn Statement reveals a country seeking to balance its desire to be a major international power with a fragile and diminishing economy.
A royal reset of UK-South Africa relations18/11/2022 13:38:00
The UK needs to get the tone right as South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is welcomed by King Charles III for the first state visit of his reign.
America’s vote shows a desire for stability and calm15/11/2022 16:25:00
Joe Biden has presided over the best midterm election results by a party in power in two decades, but the future for the Republican Party leadership is now uncertain.