LONDON: The Prime Minister Theresa May will urge companies, lawmakers and other Britons on Feb. 6 to fight to stop the “coarsening” of the political debate, using the centenary of women.
In a speech in the northern English city of Manchester, the birthplace and home of Emmeline Pankhurst who led Britain's suffragette movement, May will announce the measures to make sure social media companies are stamping out offensive content.
It's a favoured refrain for May, who is under pressure from her Conservatives to set an agenda to revive their electoral fortunes and drown out divisions.
“Those who fought to establish their right, my right, every woman's right to vote in elections, to stand for office and to take their full and rightful place in public life.” They persevered in spite of all the danger and discouragement, because they knew their cause was right, “she will say, according to excerpts of the speech.
“As we remember the heroic campaigners of the past, who should be aware of what values and principles guide our conduct of that debate today.”
May, a former interior minister, will, say, her government will create an annual Internet safety transparency in the process of stamping out online abuse, publish a safety strategy and review legislation, drafted before social media, to ensure it can deal with offensive online communications.
Her marks will sit alongside a commitment from the minister for women and equalities, Amber Rudd, to offer £ 2.5mil (RM13.67mil) for schemes to increase women's participation in political and public life.
As in many other countries, social media outlets in Britain are home to passionate debates. Some lawmakers have received death threats.
Many of the suffragettes, who with the Representation of the People Act of 1918, received hate mail. Some were imprisoned or hurt, and some were killed, during their protests.
“For the time there is much to celebrate, I worry that our public debate today is coarsening, that for some it is becoming harder to disagree, without also demeaning opposing viewpoints in the process,” May will say. – Reuters