Social Media Accounts

Controversial ID’s For Social Media Accounts And What You Should Know

Why are there still gaps in our online safety? Anonymity online is ruining and even causing lives to be taken. Ownership of words would reduce the hate and the repercussions, so why is no action being taken to implement this?

The Social Media Spark

There has been a clamour for increased accountability on social media for a while now but recently there has been more media attention due to a number of factors. The ‘Be Kind’ movement was launched after a series of suicides were linked to bullying and threatening behaviour, large proportions of which were online. Social media links everyone to everyone else nowadays and has become a platform for hate, abuse, discrimination, and racism. After the summer’s European football championships, three players were subjected to vile racist abuse through their Twitter accounts just because they all missed a penalty.

Both the online bullies and racists cannot always be traced because their social handle is not their real name and is set up under false information with no personal data or photos. The unanimous posting of hate and abuse has a huge knock-on effect which decent, law-abiding citizens who want to clean up the internet and social media, in particular, want to be controlled and governed properly. The call for stricter rules and improved verification has been ongoing for a while but the current resurfacing of issues that nobody wants to see repeated is a reminder that soft punishments do not work and we have to clamp down harder with our actions against these crimes. 

The Solution

Making people accountable for their words and actions online instead of hiding behind fake profiles can be achieved by a proper verification process. The make-up of this is up for debate but there is no denying that giving people free rein over what they say on social media where there are little or no consequences for any hurtful words is not working.

Something simple like having to provide a driver’s license number or passport number which can be encrypted but viewed by authorities upon special request to the social media platform’s administrators would work. The impact of such a straightforward task would be huge and potentially improve and save many lives.

Would It Be Effective? 

We have seen the impact of discovering identities, by linking the hate back to real people, accountability follows. Their actions are condemned publicly by their employers who then conduct their own disciplinary investigations. The usual conclusion to these is that the perpetrator loses their job as the company does not want to be associated in any way with this behaviour with the risk of it damaging their brand. If they support the employee after this sort of unsavoury episode, then their corporate reputation and morals are immediately questioned, and huge sums of money could be lost.

Losing revenue is not something any business is going to entertain, so there becomes a knock-on effect if police can ID users guilty of posting hate. They lose their jobs, their income, social standing, friends, colleagues, and even family. Life in tatters is not worth posting some angry words at people who are often complete strangers anyway. There is no doubt it would have an immediate impact across social media because nobody in their right mind would want their life turned upside down in this manner just to get an opinion across online.

Is It Realistic? 

There may be millions of people involved in the process of validation, but it should be a quick and painless process for most. You are asked for ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, to watch certain films, purchasing games, fireworks, etc, so what is the harm of doing it for social media. You cannot enter a new country without sufficient ID so, therefore, why should you be able to message a person from that country calling them obscene names? It is perfectly realistic to attach or link some form of official traceable ID to every social media account no matter what the platform.

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