NEW laws should be introduced to protect people from the kind of online abuse suffered by JK Rowling after she donated £1 million to the campaign against Scottish independence, a Labour peer has said.
The Harry Potter author was the subject of a social media backlash after coming out last week in support of the continuation of the United Kingdom in its present form.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, a former Scottish MP and minister, asked Justice Minister Lord Faulks at question time in the House of Lords: “Are you aware of the vile, personal internet abuse heaped on supporters of the union in Scotland including JK Rowling the author merely for giving £1 million toward Better Together? Will you condemn this?”
And he questioned whether some legislation could be introduced “to protect all of us who suffer such attacks”.
Lord Faulks told him: “I do deplore what has been said about those who have a particular viewpoint - it is the enemy of democracy that the internet should be used in this way.
“We should nevertheless be hesitant before we prevent access to the internet. Russia, China, some of the Arab states prevent access to the internet. Once you start preventing access to the internet you prevent some of the advantages you get economically and otherwise form this extraordinary phenomenon now 25 years old.”