G7 speakers are expected to use social media platforms to prevent trolling after a conference on security issues in parliaments.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said he would work with police to prosecute anyone threatening people online, and said they would consider legislation if necessary.
Speaking at the end of the G7 Presidents’ Conference, held in his constituency of Chorley in Lancashire, Sir Lindsay said social media companies are keen to get involved.
Sir Lindsay told the PA news agency: “It’s about working together to keep people safe and what we need to do is get rid of this hate, this acceptance that someone can get away with. wake up at three in the morning and decide to start abusing people.
âThis is not acceptable and it must be continued.
“And I’ll be completely honest with you, if people put threats up there, I’ll work with the police to prosecute.” This is how much it matters to me.
He added: “And I think there is a role that we have to tell them, come together, if you don’t, we will legislate against you.”
Sir Lindsay said women parliamentarians “bear the brunt of the brunt” of social media abuse, which he described as “unacceptable”.
He said, âWell, that means social media is a wonderful thing, but it’s also a horrible thing at the same time.
âThe point is, people use social media to hate, rant, yell and abuse people – threatening them with rape or murder. “
The president said he had suffered threats on social media.
He said: âThere are people who don’t like the idea that I am defending democracy, they don’t like the idea that I have values ââthat they hate.
“The point is, these people who want to say ‘I want to assassinate him’, ‘I want to target him’, someone had pretended that they were going to put a bomb under my car, that’s the kind of thing we shouldn’t don’t tolerate, we shouldn’t accept.
âSo we have to eliminate them together and call him. And that is what is so important.
Conference delegates attended four panels on the topic of secure and open parliaments – including how to balance public access while ensuring member safety, the role of social media in an open parliament and the power of television to influence democracy.
They should issue a statement pledging to work proactively to keep elected politicians safe and encourage social media platforms to prevent trolling.
Speakers are also expected to pledge to help broadcasters deliver independent news and information, and parliaments to find innovative ways to listen to and represent their constituents.