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Petition To Make ID A Requirement For Social Media Hits More Than 600,000 Signatures

A petition to make ID a requirement for social media accounts has hit more than 650,000 signatures in the wake of trolls targeting England’s Euro 2020 stars.

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Started by model Katie Price, and backed by other celebrities including Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore, it calls for personal accounts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter to be linked to a verified form of identification.

This would then prevent, the petition says, ‘anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs’.

England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were racially abused on social media after missing penalties during the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson then held showdown talks with social media firms yesterday, demanding they ‘up their game’ over the abuse suffered by the Three Lions stars.

Whitmore, 36, shared a link and wrote to her 1.4 million Instagram followers:

‘The fact that anyone can say anything online without any accountability has never been right. We all have platforms no matter how many followers or who you are, use it to make the world that little bit better.’

Former model and reality star Price, 43, started the petition after her son Harvey faced abuse online. Harvey, 19, was born with septo-optic dysplasia, Prader-Willi syndrome, autism, and a learning disability.

In the petition details, Price claims the Government’s Online Safety Bill ‘doesn’t go far enough in making online abuse a specific criminal offence’.

The Bill will put a new legal duty of care on online companies to protect their UK users from harm, including people receiving abusive comments, threats, and harassment online.

Government response to the petition said the legislation would ‘address anonymous harmful activity’.

But it added: ‘User ID verification for social media could disproportionately impact vulnerable users and interfere with freedom of expression.’

In the petition details, Price claims the Government’s Online Safety Bill ‘doesn’t go far enough in making online abuse a specific criminal offence’.

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