Online Harm

March 2020

 

Dear Constituent, 

 

Thank you for contacting me about Online Harm. I have read your concerns and noted them carefully.

 

I’m afraid that, as a matter of principle and like any other MPs, I don’t sign EDMs which have no real parliamentary function and yet are very expensive to administer. However, I appreciate your concerns about Online Harm and am absolutely clear that harassment and abuse in whatever form and whoever the target is totally unacceptable, and that this should be reported to the police.

 

Freedom of speech, the rule of law, and equal rights define us as a society, and I am determined to promote those values actively. But what is illegal offline is also illegal online, and I am absolutely clear about that.

 

I have always believed that while the internet can be an open and vibrant mode of communication and conversation it can also be a source of great harm. The UK is fully committed to a free, open and secure internet and will ensure freedom of expression online is protected. I know from discussions with my colleagues in Parliament that there is a problem with abuse directed at individuals. This is unacceptable and goes beyond free speech and free debate. Indeed, online abuse can corrode the very values on which British democracy rests.

 

Once again, thank you for bringing your views to my attention.

 

With best wishes.

 

Kind regards,

 

Jonathan Lord MP

Member of Parliament for Woking