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How do social media companies handle abuse online?

19 June 2018

This is the third evidence session in the Petitions Committee's inquiry into online abuse and the experience of disabled people.

Purpose of the session

The Committee is investigating online abuse and the experience of disabled people after a petition started by Katie Price achieved more than 220,000 signatures.

The petition calls for online abuse to be a specific criminal offence and for a register of offenders to be created. The petition talks about the abuse Katie Price and her family has suffered, especially her disabled son. The Committee aims to build on the work already done in Parliament on the issue of online abuse by looking at the specific concerns of disabled people and their families.

The Committee has heard from petition creator Katie Price and her family, Dimensions UK, Mencap, and Inclusion London (Tuesday 6 February); and from a selection of witnesses speaking for the Government Hate Crime Programme, Metropolitan Police Online Hate Crime Hub and a local police force (Tuesday 24 April), as well as holding informal events to hear directly from disabled people.

The previous evidence sessions highlighted the shocking abuse that disabled people experience online and the limited tools the police have to tackle such abuse.

The Committee has now asked social media companies to give evidence on the extent to which their platforms facilitate the online abuse of disabled people and to find out what they are doing to address abuse and the risk of exploitation.


Tuesday 19 June 2018, The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

  • Karim Palant, UK Public Policy Manager, Facebook
  • Katie O'Donovan, Public Policy Manager, Google
  • Nick Pickles, Head of Public Policy and Government, Twitter

Further information

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