This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Hold online trolls accountable for their online abuse via their IP address

It’s far too easy for online trolls to just create another email address and another social media account if they have their accounts suspended.

More details

However if their internet service providers were required to block their access to social media, and social media companies blocked their IP addresses, it would be far harder for them to get another account and continue their abuse.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

133,680 signatures

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100,000

Parliament will consider this for a debate

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate

Waiting for 305 days for a debate date

Government responded

This response was given on 24 September 2019

Unacceptable behaviour and content is far too prevalent online. The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

Read the response in full

Unacceptable behaviour and content is far too prevalent online. The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

In recent years there has been a worrying rise in the amount of abuse, harassment and intimidation online - particularly directed at those in public life. Much of this abuse happens on social media, and the Government is aware of too many stories of public figures closing social media accounts following online abuse. In many cases, the offender will be unknown to the victim, and in some instances, they will have taken technical steps to conceal their identity.

This abuse is unacceptable – it goes beyond free speech and free debate, dissuades good people from going into public life, and corrodes the values on which our democracy rests.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out our intent to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be required to build an understanding of the risks associated with their services and take reasonable steps to guard against harm to their users, relative to their level of risk and resources. Companies need to take responsibility for tackling abusive behaviour on their services, because our society is built on democratic freedoms that allow different voices, views and opinions to freely and peacefully contribute to public discourse.

Details of the reasonable steps we expect companies to take will be set out in codes of practice which will be issued by the regulator. But specifying a particular technical solution risks that approach becoming outdated or defunct as technology and harms evolve.

Ahead of the implementation of the new regulatory framework, we will continue to encourage companies to take early action to address online harms.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee hears from Only Way is Essex star about online abuse

This week the Petitions Committee's heard from the creator of this petition, Bobby Norris from the Only Way is Essex, in the first step of its new inquiry on tackling online abuse.

You can watch the session or read a transcript of the meeting here:

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqMKtR-pt0A
Read the transcript: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/409/default/

The Committee heard about Bobby's experience of online abuse and why he had started the petition.

The Committee's inquiry will consider issues raised in a number of petitions, and follow up on the Petitions Committee’s previous inquiry into online abuse and the experiences of disabled people. We'll email you again to let you know what the next steps are.

Follow the Committee's inquiry on it's website: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/307/tackling-online-abuse/

Find out about the Committee's previous inquiry into online abuse and the experiences of disabled people: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/petitions-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/online-abuse-17-19/

What is the Petitions Committee?

The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons. The Committee can schedule debates, hold in-depth inquiries, and press the Government for action on petitions. It is independent of the Government.

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter
@HoCpetitions or on their
website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Find out more about how petitions work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGEOraE08Jk&feature=youtu.be

Only Way is Essex star to give evidence to Petitions Committee on online abuse

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) will hear evidence on Thursday 21 May at 11am from Bobby Norris, petition creator and star of reality TV show The Only Way is Essex, as part of a new investigation into online abuse.

Watch the session live online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMMPwVewJPU

The Petitions Committee has launched an inquiry into tackling online abuse, to consider issues raised in a number of petitions from the last Parliament and to follow up on the Committee’s previous inquiry into online abuse and the experiences of disabled people. The Committee’s inquiry comes as people are spending more time online due to social distancing, and in the wake of the Government’s white paper on online harms, which was published in February.

What is the Petitions Committee?

The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons. It is independent of the Government.

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter

@HoCpetitions or on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Find out more about how petitions work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGEOraE08Jk&feature=youtu.be