UK Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott: “There needs to be an end to anonymity online”

Abbott wants social media companies to require users to hand over their real names and addresses.


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UK Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has proposed that people should be forced to hand over their real name and address in order to use social media sites and that this information should be made available to the government when they want to investigate online posts.

“You can post under a pseudonym but Twitter, Facebook – whoever, should actually have your name and address,” Abbott said during an appearance on Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “When we try and follow up, some of the really abusive things and threats of violence online, we cannot trace the people because no one has their name and address.”

Abbott added: “I think there’s need to be an end to anonymity online.”

Many Twitter users were shocked by Abbott’s comments and described them as “terrifying” and an “attempt to control every aspect of your life.”

Abbott’s comments come during the same month that a UK high court judge ruled it was “chilling” for police to visit Harry Miller (Harry the Owl) over a tweet and tell him he’d committed a “non-crime hate incident.”

“In this country, we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society,” the judge said when ruling that the police probe into Miller’s tweets was disproportionate.

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]