Katie Price says online abuse is ‘getting worse’ in evidence to parliamentary committee

Katie Price with her son Harvey leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Commons Petitions Committee where she called for online abuse to be made a specific offence. (Photo by Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Katie Price with her son Harvey leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Commons Petitions Committee where she called for online abuse to be made a specific offence. (Photo by Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images)

Katie Price has said online bullying has been “getting worse” as she gave evidence to the government’s Petitions Committee on abuse she and her son Harvey have received.

The former model addressed MPs on Thursday afternoon along with her mother Amy Price as part of a Parliamentary inquiry into online abuse where she also spoke on the wider effects of trolling.

“I’m here about his bullying and racism but it’s just getting worse, it’s just on a wider spectrum of stuff. We all know [online abuse prevention] has got to become a law and if it doesn’t, I will keep fighting so it does,” she said.

Read more: Katie Price challenges trolls to meet up with her

The mother-of-five has continually spoken out about trolling directed at Harvey, 18, who is partially blind and has genetic condition Prader-Willi syndrome. He has also been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.

Katie Price and Son, Harvey attend Sellebrity Soccer Match in aid of Smile For Joel and Compton Hospice at Banks' Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Walsall, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Katie Price and Son, Harvey attend Sellebrity Soccer Match in aid of Smile For Joel and Compton Hospice at Banks’ Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Walsall, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

“It’s not fair on Harvey, luckily he doesn’t understand but I do and his siblings do and now it affects them. Then their friends at school start picking on them,” the 42-year-old went on.

She also addressed what repercussions she believes should be put in place for those who abuse others online as she and her mother both backed the implementation of a register.

Katie shared: “There needs to be fines in place, there needs to be consequences in place. It’s getting worse.

“If there is a consequence online people think ‘I’ll be careful what I wrote because I might be fined or be or a register so if I go for a job it might come up’.”

On the personal information she believes should be provided, she went on: “When you get a car you want to know our ins and outs, our addresses, how long we’ve lived there our phone numbers or next of kins. It should be the same, it can’t be hard.

Katie Price gave evidence to the Petitions Committee as she discussed her and son Harvey's experience with trolling. (UK Parliament/YouTube)
Katie Price gave evidence to the Petitions Committee as she discussed her and son Harvey’s experience with trolling. (UK Parliament/YouTube)

“Proof of ID, take a picture of your passport, proof of address, email number, four things to identify that person.”

Katie appeared before the Petitions Committee back in 2019 after her petition to make online abuse a criminal offence received over 220,000 signatures.

Read more: Katie Price sadness as online trolls get Harvey’s name trending on Twitter

Katie’s evidence comes after The Only Way Is Essex cast member Bobby Norris spoke to MPs about receiving homophobic abuse online.

The reality star called for a clamp down on trolling as he shared he had been receiving death threats “almost daily” while in lockdown.

Earlier in the week, the chairman of the Lords Democracy and Digital Committee Lord Puttnam said the Online Harms Bill may not come into effect until 2023 or 2024.

The bill proposes to place a “duty of care” on tech companies to protect users from harm.

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