Warning: Filter out ‘unverified’ accounts.
Several large social networks, such as Facebook, would filter out unverified accounts if the government’s online safety bill is passed. The social networks would decide how they will verify a user’s identity. Nadine Dorries said the plan would reduce anonymous trolling.
According to the government’s proposed online safety laws, social networks could be fined 10% of their global turnover if they fail to deal with harmful content. The law also covers the posting of revenge porn, human trafficking, and online extremism.
As one example of online trolling, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) highlighted the racist abuse of England’s Euro 2020 footballers.
Even though the proposed law would not stop people from creating anonymous accounts and posting abuse, social networks would be forced to give their users the option to opt-out of seeing posts from unverified accounts.
According to the DCMS, social networks could allow people to verify their identity by proving their profile photo was an accurate likeness, providing government ID, or linking their account to a mobile phone number. Ultimately, social networks will determine the exact method of verification.
The DCMS acknowledges that people use anonymous accounts for various reasons, such as making whistle-blowing reports, exploring their sexuality or sharing their experiences in an authoritarian company.
Nevertheless, it suggested that users should have tools to “control who interacts with them. “Social networks must also filter out “legal but harmful” content. It said promoting eating disorders and vaccine disinformation was “toxic” but did not meet the threshold of a criminal offense.