We’re here to tell you everything about this petition that’s currently taking over social. Further, why are so many people signing, or not signing?
What is the petition?
The petition states that the government should make verified ID a legal requirement for those starting a social media account. Further, if the account is currently owned by someone under the age of 18, identification of their parents/guardians would be required.
This means that anyone wanting to set up a new social media account should provide a verified ID to do so. This makes the account much easier to be traced in the events of an offence, such as online abuse.
Why did this petition start?
This campaign was started by Katy Price due to the experiences that her son, Harvey, has gone through online. She stated:
“My son Harvey is disabled. He is also the kind and gentle son of a person regularly in the public eye.”
“Where an offence has taken place they ought to be easily identified and reported to the police and punished. We have experienced the worst kind of abuse towards my disabled son and want to make sure that no one can hide behind their crime.”
How many people have signed?
This petition has reached 150,000 signatures in just over 10 days. This means it has well passed the 100,000 signature requirement for the government to consider it. We are now currently waiting for the government to reveal the date for this debate.
A large portion agrees with Katie’s statement. Saying that it is crucial to protect the mental wellbeing of social media users. Many users have witnessed abuse first-hand and want to see a government crackdown.
Overall, some people believe that it is vital towards the mental health of social media users. In addition, especially those that are young. However, it could cause a potential upstir in other communities.
Who’s against this petition?
Despite the climbing amount of signatures the petition has gained, those against the petition raise valid concerns. Some claim that it could be ‘extremely harmful’, with many spreading their concerns using the #saveanonymity hashtag. One person on Twitter wrote: “you would have to provide information such as: your gender, sexuality, pronouns.”
“This is extremely harmful because this could lead to outing of thousands of closeted LGBTQ+ kids who may live in an abusive household.”
Furthermore, many people are using the #saveanonymity Hashtag due to their privacy being unprotected. There is already a huge amount of concern surrounding privacy on apps such as Instagram and Facebook. Giving them a verified ID would only enhance these concerns.