Nadine Dorries’ Anti Social Media “Pile On” Announcement Backfires

Nadine Dorries was up at the despatch box yesterday to outline the provisions of the Online Safety Bill during its second reading. One particular moment caught Guido’s attention:

“[The bill] seeks to force the largest social media platforms to enforce their own bans on racism, misogyny, antisemitism, pile-ons and all sorts of other unacceptable behaviour that they claim not to allow but that ruins life in practice. In other words, we are just asking the largest platforms to simply do what they say they will do, as we do in all good consumer protection measures in any other industry.”

What exactly does forcing a social media company to stop a “pile-on” look like? What defines a pile-on? Any answers to these questions inevitably run the risk of hindering free speech. When Guido asked these questions on Twitter last night, Nadine herself responded…

“By holding tech companies to account to comply with their own stated terms and conditions… We will also list in secondary legislation legal but harmful online activity, such as incitement to self harm, harassment, eating disorders, bullying, racist hate. Not limiting free speech or political /public interest debate but the serious most harmful activity.”

Nadine’s tweet ended up receiving 172 replies, most of them hostile. Some might even call it a pile-on. Under the new legislation, would she expect Twitter to wade in on her behalf?

It’s easy to envision a future government using this law to enforce dangerous woke language policing. This is a slippery slope…

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