The murder of David Amess MP has ignited renewed calls for anonymous accounts to be banned off social media.
But an analysis by New Statesman reveals that banning anonymous accounts wouldn’t do much to solve the problem of online abuse. The New Statesman assessed the emotional content of all 2.3 million tweets directed at MPs since the beginning of 2021. 32 per cent of tweets from anonymous accounts were classed as angry as well as 30 per cent of tweets from accounts with full names attached.
“Online anonymity is a vital tool in the armoury of journalists, human rights activists and whistleblowers,” Mark Johnson, legal and policy officer at the campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the New Statesman.
“Should the government choose to go down the path of censorship and surveillance with this legislation then it will embolden autocratic regimes around the world to take a similar path.”