Force social media giants to demand IDs, urges Richard
DAILY EXPRESS columnist Richard Madeley went to war on internet trolls yesterday by demanding social media giants record the identities of users.
The TV presenter and novelist claimed toxic online abuse could be wiped out if platforms like Facebook and Twitter registered customers’ real names.
Richard, who has spoken out about trolls in the past after they targeted his daughter Chloe, believes companies have a duty to tackle it.
He said abusive keyboard warriors were “sad and pathetic individuals” who will only attack those in the public eye because they are allowed anonymity.
His comments come after Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden discussed trolling with Premier League footballers this week. Richard added: “It’s time we reviewed the law.When they register, they have to register their real details and that means proof, such as a passport number or a driving licence number. “Of course they can use a handle or anonymous nickname. I’ve no problem with that. “But if you had to register, a lot of these people would not bother to send threatening or criminal messages. If people knew they could be tracked they wouldn’t do it.” The 64-yearold said he was too “broad shouldered” to be bothered by trolls on Twitter. But he has spoken out against those sniping at daughter Chloe, 33, married to England rugby star James Haskell.
He has even based his forthcoming novel Father’s Day around online abuse and the destruction it can cause.
Richard said: “I don’t even bother blocking people because that sends a signal that they have got to you.These are people with borderline personality issues.
“Instead of trying to react on a pretty civilised basis, they take the short cut in the most negative way they can.”
A spokesman for Facebook, which also owns Instagram and Messenger, said it does not tolerate trolling, bullying or harassment but feared ID verification would exclude some sections of society.
He said: “Requiring people to provide official ID could increase digital exclusion for disadvantaged social groups.”