Keeping online debate free from hate

Luciana Berger with (l-r) Ian Murray and Peter Cole from the Society of Editors,  Stephen Williams MP, John Mann MP and  Eric Ollerenshaw MP at the code launch

Luciana Berger with (l-r) Ian Murray and Peter Cole from the Society of Editors, Stephen Williams MP, John Mann MP and Eric Ollerenshaw MP at the code launch

The rise in digital technologies, social networking and media convergence has meant that more and more people are viewing content online.

A rise in the reporting of internet trolls, spamming and online hate crime has meant that media sites have found themselves forced to take a tighter control of what users publish on their websites.

With an increasing number of newspapers using a digital platform to increase their readership alongside maximising the power of social networking, effective moderation of online comment has never been as important.

The Society of Editors has produced a useful new code to help people judge what is and is not acceptable comment online. It will help news outlets make the fine judgments between strong comment and abuse. It may also help organisations running websites that allow user comments and assist users themselves to better understand the issues.

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, I know how important it is to encourage debate which prevents racist bile and hate crime that closes down discussion of important issues.

I was pleased to support the launch of the guide and hope that editors learn from the best practice contained within it. I look forward to continuing to work with the Society of Editors and others to ensure our public debate is civilised and free from hate.

The All-Party Group is now challenging civil society to step-up to the mark set by the Society of Editors so that we can all enjoy sharing views and opinions online.