I am no fan of The Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen as I consider him to be a Red-Tory Unionist, but he is right to questions Facebook policy and it and other social media that the platforms are “not doing enough” about the problem after Facebook told him an abusive message did not violate its own rules.
“However, we do not apply our bullying policies to public figures because we want to allow discourse, which often includes critical discussion of people who are featured in the news or have a large public audience.”
He was sent a message which read: “Steven Doughty [sic], I now weigh 232 pounds, which is far too much, but I’m hoping is less than you, you fat murderous c***”.
“I have no issue with people strongly criticising my views on any issue but I draw the line at abusive and threatening behaviour or harassment of me or my staff.
“Facebook and Twitter are very variable about how they respond. Sometimes swift and sensibly, other times not, as in this case. I was particularly shocked by their response that suggests that we should accept a higher level of abuse as public figures.
“Facebook, Twitter and the like need to get a grip and stop justifying their failures to act on abuse, harassment, and online extremism – whoever it is directed at – in the name of ‘free speech’.
“The sewer that the online world is becoming has real world consequences. Legitimising attacks and the abuse of public figures, journalists, women, Jews, Muslims and gay people and body-shaming and bullying seems to be increasingly the accepted norm – we need to fight back.”
Is there a line between calling Mr Doughty “an idiot” say and a “fat murderous c***”?
I think so .
Anyway he could not be the only one seeing this and his staff, family and other members of the public could also be affected by such abuse.
We need to question our politicians and other public figures , because it is important they realise that there are people who vigorously disagree with them.
Calling an MP or AM an idiot for example and vigorously questioning their policies is but making comments about their appearance is something else.
Women of course get it much worse and many have been threatened with rape which I am sure Facebook and other social media would not rightly tolerate.
Quite frankly if you reduce yourself to that sort of abuse as the example directed against Mr Doughty you have lost the argument.
There must be a line drawn and it may be difficult to define and administrate , but Facebook need to draw no matter who abuse is directed at.