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TheStreet Open House

Facebook Inc (FB), Twitter Inc (TWTR) Should Block Anonymous PMs

Stocks in this article: FB TWTR

A U.K. adviser has one solution to help Facebook Inc FB and Twitter Inc TWTR battle cyber bullying.

Cyber bulling has become a growing problem, and one advisor to the U.K.’s prime minister urges Facebook Inc (FB - Get Report) and Twitter Inc (TWTR - Get Report) to block anonymous messages. She believes this will cut down on how much bullying occurs online.

Facebook and Twitter can help battle bullying

Clair Perry, who is U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s child Internet safety adviser, says neither Facebook Inc (FB - Get Report) nor Twitter Inc (TWTR - Get Report) is doing enough to battle online bullying. Rowena Mason, political correspondent for The Guardian, reports that Perry spoke before a hearing with the House of Commons Media Committee. She said if both social networks block messages from anonymous users, bullying on both of them would be reduced.

Perry also says there should be some kind of verification process for users so that people can easily see if those they receive messages from have provided their real names or are using an anonymous account. Perry herself received threats through Twitter Inc (TWTR - Get Report) over the summer, and she said anonymity of use makes it easy for anyone to threaten anyone over a social network.

“People post about how they’d like to rape you and kill you because they think you don’t know who you are,” Perry is quoted by the newspaper’s website as saying. “If there was some way of the company knowing and being prepared to verify that identify and to show you that verification, I think it would lead to a diminuation in that kind of behaviour.”

Prosecuting trolling on Facebook and Twitter

She also advocated prosecution for "trolling," which is basically being exceptionally mean, threatening or rude to people online just because you can. She called the practice “deeply misogynistic” and said she thinks prosecuting for “pretty vile behaviour” would help the situation.

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