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Old September 20th, 2017, 09:33 AM   #1
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Ban social media trolls from voting, election watchdog suggests


Banning social media trolls from voting could help reduce the amount of abuse faced by politicians, the election watchdog has said.

The Electoral Commission says legislation around elections should be reviewed and new offences could be introduced.

In the commission’s submission to a committee on standards in public life inquiry into the intimidation of political candidates, officials say many offences under electoral law date back to the 1800s or earlier.

Racism, misogyny, threats: politicians who have suffered abuse
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They say some electoral offences can result in an offender being disqualified from voting or from registering to vote. Such deterrents could be considered to stop abusive people, the submission says.

“In some instances electoral law does specify offences in respect of behaviour that could also amount to an offence under the general, criminal law. It may be that similar special electoral consequences could act as a deterrent to abusive behaviour in relation to candidates and campaigners,” it states.

A BBC survey has found that 87% of MPs say they experienced abuse during the 2017 general election campaign. Half (51%) of the MPs who responded to the Radio 5 Live survey said it was the worst election campaign they had experienced in terms of abuse.

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