Parliamentary sketch – Who’s egging them on?
It’s time to properly embrace and encourage electronic media. We hope that Cornwall and the Scillies will become a significant Superfast centre which will help to drive our economy as an electronic Capital in which to do business.
Now, although I’m still struggling to drag myself away from my natural quill-pen and parchment tendency and my still Neolithic computer skills and comprehension, I recognise that not only cannot I not turn back the clock, but must learn to live with and embrace the technology.
Fewer constituents write to me in letter form and thousands more contact me by email than just a few years ago. Each is dealt with in turn (much to the annoyance of a small minority of emailers, who seem to believe that they have a divine right to a dissertation size response within nanoseconds!).
But on the less than encouraging side, it seems that the development of the age of electronic communication has given new life to some of the most spineless and inadequate people in our society. Social media abuse is resulting in serious intimidation and in some extreme cases causing the death of innocent people who have become victims to social media abuse and persecution.
Alright. Politicians are assumed to be a special case; sub-humans who have clearly been transplanted on earth from some netherworld, fit only for a public egging. But for the rest – especially those who have not sought public limelight – this is not on.
There is one way to combat this kind of social media abuse. All of the hosts for this stuff could demand that users write only in their full and legal name (verified by the network), with attributable contacts. If you have things to say you should have the self confidence to be who you are and stand up for yourself and not hide behind a pseudonym. This should be enforceable in law.
It seems strange to me that, until recently, anonymous communications (poison pen letters) were seen as contemptible. But now many post anonymous diatribes ventilating often very personal abuse on the public notice boards of the Internet with absolute impunity. Though you can “report abuse” few do, it’s often already too late and the perpetrators are free to try again anyway.
The media who allow this are more concerned to drive traffic than in policing. That’s why they don’t mind becoming a lenient magnet for the spineless and warped inadequates who abuse the new, so called ‘freedom’ of the electronic media.
Andrew George MP
20th August 2013