DARLINGTON’S MP joined a campaign to lobby social media companies to do more to tackle online abuse.

Peter Gibson has written to the tech giants alongside 50 Conservative MPs, calling out the “inaction” of social media companies to stamp out abuse on their platforms. The group have recommended ID verification, lifetime bans for repeat offenders and UK-based teams to deal with reported abuse.

The issue comes to the fore as MPs prepare for a return of the Online Safety Bill for a second reading in the House of Commons. A draft of the Bill is currently being scrutinised by MPs before it is formally presented to Parliament.

The letter says “The inaction by social media companies like yours to take decisive action to tackle online abuse has meant that you have become enablers of abuse which rots away the very foundations of our society.

Read more: Social media ‘must start verifying user ID to end online abuse’

“Sadly, if you are in public life, whether it be as a sportsperson or a politician you are seen as 'fair game'. The message it gives out to our future generations is that this is simply the cost of being thrust into the spotlight which not only damages the very fabric of our society it also undermines our democracy."

Mr Gibson added: “Social media companies must be more proactive in stamping out abuse on their platforms – they have a moral duty."

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