‘The government must accept that self-regulation of social media has failed’ says the January 2019 report from Petitions Committee on online abuse and the experience of disabled people.
The inquiry was triggered by a petition started by Katie Price, who has a disabled child, which attracted 221,914 signatures before it closed early due to the 2017 General Election.
The report finds:
- The government and social media companies must directly consult with disabled people on digital strategy and hate crime law
- Disability hate crime is not fully recognised and perpetrators are not appropriately punished. The law on hate crime must give disabled people the same protections as those who suffer hate crime due to race or religion
- The criminal justice system is too quick to categorise disabled people as “vulnerable”. Hostility towards disabled people is often based on a perception that they are an easy target who can’t contribute to society.
The report recommends:
- That the government introduces targets to ensure that its own advertising campaigns reflect the disabled population of the UK
- That the Government needs to act to remove the barriers that leave disabled people so marginalised that 21% of young adults would avoid talking to someone due to their disability
- That the Government acknowledges the importance of the internet to disabled people and how disabled people are affected by abuse.