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James Kavanagh calls for online trolls to be held accountable for their actions

The TV presenter is the latest well-known face to speak out about the issue of trolling

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James Kavanagh has called for an end of anonymity for trolls, asking for online bullies to be held accountable for their actions.

The social media star is the latest well-known face to use their platform to fight against online trolling – after a host of Irish influencers spoke out about their own experiences with online harassment in recent weeks.

Taking to Twitter, James wrote: “Anonymity facilitates, breeds and nourishes hate. I’m not sure about the logistics of the solution, but something needs to be done about allowing racists be anonymous online?”

“I feel they wouldn’t achieve such levels of vileness if they had to show their face and be accountable?

“And I’ve been schooled on the positives & necessities of anonymity: some people need to be able to be anonymous online,” he added.

“But there should be a way to differentiate and punish/reveal those who cross a line.”

The news comes after a host of well-known faces in Ireland have shared their support for a new law which could see online bullies jailed for up to five years.

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill will make online bullying a crime, alongside revenge porn, digital harassment, and online stalking.

The Act will be named Coco’s Law – after 21-year-old Nicole Fox Fenlon, who died by suicide in 2018 after she was relentlessly abused online.

On Wednesday, Nicole’s mother Jackie Fox handed a petition signed by over 33,000 people to Leinster House calling for the bill to be passed.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has since promised that the bill will be in place by the end of the year.

Speaking outside Leinster House on Wednesday, Jackie Fox bravely told how her daughter took her own life about being “tortured” online.

A number of well-known faces in Ireland have since shared a video of Jackie’s speech on social media, sharing their support for the proposed law.

Influencers Terrie McEvoy and Rosie Connolly posted the video on their Instagram Stories, and social media star Darren Conway shared the video with his own Instagram followers.

The video was originally posted by filmmaker Gerard Walsh, and was also liked by Cork influencer Lisa Jordan.

Irish singer Aimee, who recently opened up about being trolled online, backed the new law too – after she watched Jackie’s speech.

Aimee admitted she was “absolutely sobbing” after watching the video, and said we should no longer ignore the issue.

Last month, blogger Lisa McGowan secured High Court orders requiring Facebook to provide her with information to identify anonymous persons on the platform.

She won the High Court bid after she claimed she was being trolled, defamed and stalked online.

She claimed that she and her business were the subject of the online harassment and defamatory comments by parties, through accounts on social media platforms, who she has been unable to identify.

Lisa McGowan has launched a high court bid against Facebook

Spin 1038 host Marty Guilfoyle was also subject to online abuse earlier this month, when he was announced as a member of a content creator house in Dublin.

The radio DJ later appeared on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today programme, and told Claire Byrne he was worried the comments would “tarnish” his career.

Meanwhile, influencer Niamh Cullen was forced to go to the Gardaí last month, after she received a horrific message on Instagram.

At the time, the Dublin native shared a photo of herself in tears, as she called on Instagram to take action against fake pages that are created to troll people online.

If you have been affected by anything in this article, please visit www.pieta.ie or call 1800 247 247.

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