Facebook should ban secret groups which spread hate, racism and fake news, according to a powerful cross-party group of MPs.
Labour’s Lucy Powell today introduced the Online Forums Bill, which would also hold administrators and moderators responsible for hate speech or defamation on forums they run.
MPs who have suffered the most serious online abuse — including Tories Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Labour’s David Lammy, Ruth Smeeth and Stella Creasy — back the Bill, which they hope the Government will support.
No aspect of a Facebook secret group is searchable or visible to non-members, and people can only be invited to join by existing members.
Lucy Powell today introduced the Online Forums Bill (PA)
The Bill calls for social media platforms like Facebook to publish details of existing secret groups and ban more from being created.
Open groups hosting racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic content would also be tackled by forcing moderators to become legally liable for the content of forums.
Ms Powell, whose Manchester Central seat was the scene of last year’s arena terror attack, said: “Online platforms such as Facebook allow users to create private groups for any purpose.
Investigators have found groups replete with criminality, hate speech, and run by radicals seeking to evangelise others.”
The Bill is being introduced under the Ten Minute Rule procedure that allows backbenchers to propose legislation.