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MPs call for 'internet Asbos' for abusive social media users

Social media users who persistently spread racial hatred online could be given "internet Asbos" blocking them from sites such as Twitter and Facebook under proposals to tackle rising levels of anti-Semitism.

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Social media increasingly 'used to spread anti-Semitism'

An All Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into anti-Semitism has said social media platforms have "increasingly been used for the spread of anti-Semitism". The report said "Hitler" and "Holocaust" were among the top 35 key words used on Twitter last summer.

MPs: Social media increasingly 'used to spread anti-Semitism'. Credit: PA

There is an allowance in the law for banning or blocking individuals from certain aspects of internet communication in relation to sexual offences.

Informal feedback we have received from policy experts indicates that this is a potential area of exploration for prosecutors in relation to hate crime.

If it can be proven in a detailed way that someone has made a considered and determined view to exploit various online networks to harm and perpetrate hate crimes against others then the accepted principles, rules and restrictions that are relevant to sex offences must surely apply.

– All Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into anti-Semitism report

Highly abusive posts on the microblogging site were singled out, including the hashtag "Hitler was right", which was trending in July, as well as the "presence of Hitlerian themes and imagery on Facebook".

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