Facebook and Twitter could be made legally responsible for anonymous social media posts

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The minister met with members of the influential Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs chaired by Sir John Hayes last week. The Sunday Express understands that Ms Dorries told the MPs that the Online Harms Bill she inherited when she arrived in her department last month was “far too weak and needed toughening up.”

She also is understood to have agreed to consider a proposed change to the Bill which would make social media giants like Google and Facebook the publisher of anonymous accounts which means they can be sued for libellous content or fined for content that breaks the law.

The meeting took place in the wake of the tragic murderr of Southend West Mp Sir David Amess with MPs pushing for the “toxic atmosphere” created by social media accounts to be dealt with.

Writing for the Sunday Express, Sir John said: “Newspapers and broadcasters are already held to account as publishers. If those duties were to be extended to social media companies – making them responsible for content posted and subject to legal action if the material is damaging – then they would be forced to ban anonymous harmful accounts.”

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