International News Nov 1, 2021 4:04 PM EST

UK government to lock up internet trolls for causing 'psychological harm'

These laws have been introduced following allegations of racist posts directed towards England footballers who missed penalties during the 2020 Euro final in Wembley.

UK government to lock up internet trolls for causing 'psychological harm'
The Post Millennial The Post Millennial

The UK government will introduce an internet law that will jail online trolls for up to two years, according to The Times.

Under the new online hate legislation, criminal action will be taken against users that cause "psychological harm." The government has not yet defined what this harm entails.

The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport has introduced this legislation after the Law Commission recommended these measures. Crimes will now be based on "likely psychological harm."

This means that this law will alter the focus from harmful content, such as indecent or grossly offensive content, to harmful effects. This will be the new basis during trials.

On top of this, the UK government will create a new offence called “threatening communications” that targets content that contains serious threats.

The government will also ban social media "pile ons" as a possible offence. Having said this, it is unclear how the government will enforce this.

These laws have been introduced following allegations of racist posts directed towards England footballers who missed penalties during the 2020 Euro final in Wembley. The three players who missed penalties were all black and received substantial online racial abuse.

Despite this, a significant portion of those racist comments came from non-UK social media users.

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