Social media attacks ‘spiralling out of control’
Government Senator David Durant wants legislation introduced to protect citizens from defamation on social media.
Making his contribution to the debate on the Domestic Violence (Protection Orders) (Amendment) Bill in the Senate this afternoon, Durant said he was worried that the reputation of some Barbadians was being threatened through postings on social media.
He said legislation needed to the adopted to prevent cyber stalking, Internet harassment and the posting of sexual photographs and other offensive material online.
He later told Barbados TODAY an increasing number of people were using the Internet as an avenue for revenge or mischief.
“There is an issue of posting of nude photos just to fight the person and inflict as much pain as they could. To me it is not right and we need the laws to save people from that kind of harassment. These cases are beginning to mount and we cannot wait until they get worse.
“Certain things are being posted with people that are not true and it is hurting people. And I think that we got to start charging people because they got to be responsible for what they post on social media because a lot of these things go worldwide,” a concerned Durant declared.
Durant argued that the situation was spiralling out of control and had the potential to become a tragedy. He warned that it should not be taken lightly because there could be serious repercussions.
“I think it is time that some privacy clauses be introduced and legislated so that police have the right to go and make sure that those postings are taken down and also that computer, laptop, cellular phone or whatever is used is taken away and the perpetrator is charged,” he contended.
He also charged that some spouses could also use social media as a weapon to spite their former partners. “Even in domestic abuse sometimes you find that a spouse can also use social media as a weapon and post all kinds of dirty pictures in sexual acts with someone they were with. It is not fair, it is not right and they are very embarrassing,” Durant insisted.