Centenary Action and GlitchUK have teamed up with Level Up to #EndOnlineAbuse.
In October 2018, the UK Chancellor announced a new Digital Services Tax of two per cent on tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter. This tax is expected to raise an additional £400m a year.
Centenary Action, GlitchUK and Level Up are urging the Chancellor of Exchequer to ring-fence at least one per cent of the new digital services tax to help end online abuse.
According to Amnesty International, one in five women in the UK have experienced online harassment or abuse. By ringfencing at least one per cent of this new tax annually for ending online abuse, the Government can commit £4m to transforming experiences of abuse and harassment online.
To make this happen, the groups are urging people to sign a petition and call on Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to invest in ending online abuse.
Speaking about the campaign, Seyi Akiwowo, Executive Director of Glitch, said, “One in five women have suffered online abuse or harassment in the UK.”
“It is only right that social media companies while paying their fair share in supporting our public services, help end online abuse on their platforms.”
“Investing now will not only save money in the long term, but will mean a safer web in our lifetime. It is time to fix the glitch.”
Dr Helen Pankhurst, Convener of the Centenary Action Group, added, “Today, women in politics still face an extraordinary amount of abuse.”
“Whether that abuse is perpetrated online, in newspapers, on the street or in surgeries, women are targeted in particularly abusive ways because they are women – with multiple additional layers of vitriol for some women, based on race, religion, sexuality, etc.”
“We need ensure that the voice of political women is amplified rather than silenced.”
“Ringfencing at least one per cent of the new digital services tax to end online abuse is a small but vital part of the solution.”
Laura Bates, Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, said, “The hundreds of thousands of testimonies received by the Everyday Sexism Project have repeatedly revealed the ways in which sexism, harassment and abuse cross the borders between life on and offline.”
“From teenage girls bombarded with unwanted ‘dick pics’, to women of colour subjected to vile racist and sexist abuse for expressing political opinions, to domestic abusers who use social media platforms as part of a wider pattern of stalking and harassment, these forms of abuse have very real offline impact.”
“It is time the government took this problem seriously, time law enforcement caught up with crimes being committed online, and time tech companies delivered real support to the female users they profit from.”
Click here to sign the petition here.