Law change proposed in response to e-Quality campaign

Law change proposed in response to e-Quality campaign

The Liberal Democrats have proposed an amendment to the revenge porn law to ensure anonymity and compensation for victims

In response to the launch of our e-Quality campaign, the Liberal Democrats have proposed a change in law to better protect victims of revenge porn.

Party leader Sophie Walker says: “We are delighted that the Liberal Democrats recognise the seriousness of this issue and the limitations of the existing legal framework. We created this party so that people could tell the other parties how much women’s equality matters and the kind of progress they expect to see. Today’s announcement shows that WE are being listened to.”

Last week we launched our e-Quality campaign to protect women’s rights online. Recognising that revenge porn is one of the most concerning phenomena in the trend of online abuse against women, WE set out bold plans to refocus the revenge porn law and ensure better routes to justice.

“The fact that 61 per cent of revenge porn cases in England and Wales resulted in no action being taken suggests that the law is not working for victims of this terrible crime. We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ support for our push for anonymity and compensation, but if we want to see an end to this abuse we must hold website operators who intentionally distribute and profit from the images accountable,” explained Walker.

The EU today launched an online code of conduct for tackling hate speech in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft. The code of conduct represents the first attempt to codify how tech firms should respond to hate speech online. However, harassment on gender grounds is not considered hate speech according to the code of conduct.

“We are pleased to see internet companies recognising the impact of online violence against specific groups and the way in which this limits their freedom of speech. Self-regulatory approaches are a limited remedy because they perpetuate the idea that if you are harassed online, justice depends on what the website operator or host has decided is adequate. It is shocking that the code entirely excludes harassment of women, who are systematically being pushed out of the online spaces with harassment and rape threats,” she continued.

“We are calling on politicians from across the political spectrum to lead the fight for women’s rights online, rather than leaving it at the discretion of big companies. This is particularly important when women make up only a quarter of tech employees.”


Published May 23, 2016