Social media companies ‘absolutely should’ do more to stop abuse

Social media companies ‘absolutely should’ do more to stop abuse

Online hate crimes against disabled people have soared by a third in one year, according to police figures

Friday, May 10, 2019

Terrence McCorry from disability charity Leonard Cheshire has said that social media companies like Twitter and Facebook “absolutely should” do more to stop abuse towards disabled people.

Online hate crimes against disabled people have soared by a third in one year, according to police figures.

Police forces across England and Wales revealed there were 313 incidents reported in 2017-18, but Leonard Cheshire said the figure is likely to be much higher.

Mr McCorry, the charity’s Disability Hate Crime Advocate, told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “It is a very mean world and the preference would be that the number would be zero.

“Our experience is that the instances are very under reported so the figures we have are not truly reflective.”

He added: “I expect [Twitter] to be robust on the action when people make the report.

“I expect them to remove users who are abusive to other users.”

Mr McCorry suggested some of the reasons disabled people would not report hate crime towards them.

“Some people don’t see it as an issue that police should deal with and they are not aware that it is a hate crime,” he said.

“They might not have the confidence to lift the phone and call the police if they are vulnerable and isolated.

“Other people might have had a poor experience with the police and don’t want to go back to them.”

Disability campaigner Samantha Renke told Matthew that she had been targeted online.

“There has always been this hostility towards the disabled community as lesser human beings,” she added.

“I now think that this prejudice is just being shown in a different way because of the surge of social media.”

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