Matthew Steeples questions Katie Price’s newfound interest in abuse on social media and how it is dealt with
When Katie Price appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics last week to highlight her campaign to criminalise online trolling, I joined those saluting her.
Having myself been part of the case that ultimately resulted in the racist bigot Viscount St Davids being sent to prison for using Facebook to offer rewards to kill others, I know first-hand the trauma online trolling can cause. It can be as offensive and scary as a heavy breathing phone call or poison pen letter and, as this publication has repeatedly stated before, given the profits made by social media operations, it is time that they accepted that it is their responsibility to regulate their users.
On the programme, Miss Price remarked:
“I’ve had two people arrested. They took it as far they could… But I need to do something… There is nothing in place so I am going to fight to get online abuse made a criminal offence.”
“Anyone is allowed freedom of speech but people know when they’ve crossed the line… People shouldn’t get away… Just because it’s online people don’t seem to take it serious [SIC]… Of course you can say things people won’t agree with.”
“I’ve got five children but they are aware they only pick on Harvey… Basically I’m counting on them [Members of Parliament] to put a good case and take it to the next level. If no one believes in this, they’ve got no heart and no soul.”
In response, on the programme, the former Cabinet Minister Justine Greening told the BBC’s Jo Coburn:
“I really admire Katie Price… The Internet revolution is challenging every aspect of our lives.”
“It’s not a question of limiting what people can say but we should have the same laws for online as well as offline… I hope to see some sensible proposals that will tackle the kind of things that Katie Price and her family have had to suffer…. MPs have had to suffer too. It’s not acceptable.”
Whilst it is easy to agree with Price’s sentiments, it now transpires she might not exactly be innocent herself. Allegations of her partaking in ‘revenge porn’ against her ex-husband Alex Reid have since surfaced and, equally, given that she’s known as a brilliant self-publicist, one is simply left questioning this glamour model’s true motivations.