Here’s another branch of the Harassing Women on Twitter industry – people threatening a woman with rape because blah blah blah blah.
TV presenter Richard Madeley has said people who sent “sick rape threats” to his daughter are in “deep trouble”.
Chloe Madeley received threats on Twitter after defending her mother, Judy Finnigan, who caused controversy when she described a rape committed by footballer Ched Evans as “non-violent”.
Well that’s ironic. I wish people wouldn’t declare the rapes of other people “non-violent” – I wish people would just get out of the business of minimizing the rapes of other people altogether – but I don’t think the right response is to threaten such people’s daughters with rape.
Mr Madeley tweeted “prosecution awaits” for the culprits but refused to comment on whether he had contacted police.
The Met Police said they were not aware of any complaint about the matter.
However, a spokesman added it could have been reported to any police force.
In an email to BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat Miss Madeley said she wanted to stand up to “vicious attention seekers.”
She added: “I always ignore the disgusting troll tweets I get because I honestly do not want to give them any attention, but the tweet in question took it to another level.”
Aw, it’s just people having a little harmless fun. There’s no need to politicize it. </irony>
Now the Tory Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is saying sentences for internet harassment should be longer.
He told the Mail on Sunday quadrupling the current maximum six-month term showed his determination to “take a stand against a baying cyber-mob”.
The plan has been announced days after TV presenter Chloe Madeley suffered online abuse, which Mr Grayling described as “crude and degrading”.
Magistrates could pass serious cases on to crown courts under the new measures.
But, free speech.
Yes, free speech, but the state isn’t the only force that can suppress free speech. Harassers on social media can do that very effectively.
Miss Madeley told the Mail on Sunday she agreed with the new proposals to update the 10-year-old law.
“It needs to be accepted that physical threats should not fall under the ‘freedom of speech’ umbrella,” she said.
“It should be seen as online terrorism and it should be illegal.”
Those who subject others to sexually offensive, verbally abusive or threatening material online are currently prosecuted in magistrates’ courts under the Malicious Communications Act, with a maximum prison sentence of six months.
More serious cases could go to crown court under the proposals, where the maximum sentence would be extended.