Black Country MP backs calls for 'Zach's Law' to clamp down on online hate

An MP has backed calls for a new law that would outlaw the deliberate sending of 'trigger images' on social media.

Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb is on the committee for the new online harms bill
Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb is on the committee for the new online harms bill

Suzanne Webb wants Zach's Law to be included in upcoming online harms legislation, which would see social media firms punished for failing to tackle online hate.

The proposed law is named after nine-year-old epileptic Zach Eagling, who was sent messages that trigger seizures while completing 130 laps of his garden for charity last year.

The Law Commission has recommended intentionally sending the trigger images should be made illegal and put into the new bill.

The Stourbridge MP, who is sitting on the bill's committee, met Zach and his mother Claire Keer at an event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

She said: "It was really important to hear Zach’s story and I was appalled that these cowardly internet trolls had done such a thing.

“This new bill needs to do all it can to stop this sort of hate but also keep up with how technology can be used to harm others.

“This is a clear case of that harm happening and it is time those who intentionally want to bring on a seizure for someone who is epileptic had the full force of the law directed at them.

“I support this campaign and I will feed back what I have heard to the committee and we will look closely at the Law Commission’s recommendation to see if it can work and be included in the bill."

During the conference Mrs Webb attended a number of events as part of her new role as senior PPS to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

She said: "My main focus, as always, is on jobs, jobs, jobs for Stourbridge and the wider Black Country and West Midlands areas through investment, training and education.

"The Government’s focus on better paid and higher skilled jobs should be manna from heaven for a region like ours with so many opportunities in the emerging green industries and new nuclear power coming online.

"This is my priority and we must all work together to make this vision a reality."

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