Oldham's MP Jim McMahon calls out hate crime online following terror attack

Reporter: Jess Reeves
Date published: 18 March 2019

Many are now calling on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take action on abuse and hate that is currently allowed to fester on their sites. Some have said that this inaction by Social Media sites is allowing hateful views to fester and spread among those more susceptible to being radicalised by extremist content.

Local MP Jim McMahon has joined calls for abuse and hate to be called out online and dealt with swiftly as to avoid another tragic terror attack.

In England and Wales hate crime has rocketed, some due to better recording by the police, but much of it because intolerance and division is too commonplace.

Jim stated that “ The rise of hate incidents and recent terror attacks has again given focus to the role of social media, websites, blogs and online videos. It has changed both the nature of policing hate, regulating its spread and in limiting its read”

Adding, “The law has been too slow to regulate and online giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter seem more concerned with profiteering from hate than eradiating it from their platforms”

Race hate crime jumped from 35,944 in 2011/12 to 71,251 by 2017/18. Religious hate crime increased from 1,618 to 8,336. We have seen significant increases across hate crimes toward people of different sexual orientation, disability and transgender.

This rise in hate crime and online abuse, has led Jim McMahon MP to call for action to be taken on the rising hate crime in the area and online.

Mr McMahon added that, “There has again been a spotlight following the horrific attack in Christchurch, and the online platforms moved to protect ‘brand damage’, but they will do far too little to deal with online abuse and harassment and the spreading hate including fake news and misinformation as well as giving air time to those delivering hateful messages which fuel division.

We have seen on our own doorstep the human cost of hate, and innocent lives have been taken in pursuit of an extreme ideology.

But we also know what hate and division is not confined to the most extreme attacks, but for too many is everyday occurrence across a spectrum from lower level comments, through to attacks and harassment of individuals, and in some cases active threats against lives.”

The calls for greater policing and regulation online are coming from all sides of the debate as we have seen the effects of unregulated media and we must all do what we can to call out hatred when we see it, whether social media giants will follow suit remains to be seen.

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