Upfront with Refilwe Moloto

Online abuse: Teenagers might not report it because they don’t see it as a problem


Lester speaks to Dr Holly Powell-Jones | Lecturer in Criminology and Media Law at City University of London.

This is a serious problem, especially if people who come across illegal material online
don’t recognise it as such. While working as a news presenter, I helped run a project
teaching thousands of children about social media laws and I noticed patterns emerging in their responses to threatening, abusive and hateful messages online. They said things like:

You’re not physically doing anything. Things like this are said all the time. You can’t
arrest everyone on the internet. – Year 12 pupil. Even though it’s disgusting, as long as there’s no physical violence, it’s okay. Free speech. It’s an opinion. – Year 13 pupil.

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