The Telegraph: MPs back Premier League star's call for social media firms to unmask racist trolls by verifying accounts

Senior MPs have backed a Premier League star's call for social media firms to verify accounts with users' passports to stop racist online abuse.

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire urged Instagram and Twitter to make users identify themselves in the same way as betting apps after his teammate Paul Pogba was subjected to a torrent of “disgusting” racial abuse from anonymous trolls.

His call was backed yesterday the chairmen of two influential parliamentary select committees, who called for tighter verification to become “the norm” to prevent “cowards and racists” hiding behind digital anonymity.

Damian Collins MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee told the Telegraph: “Account verification should be more widely available and become the norm. I think accounts should be verified, it can’t be right that cowards and racists can hide behind the anonymity of social media to attack people, often using multiple bogus accounts.”

His counterpart on the Science and Technology select committee, Norman Lamb, said if social media companies did not act to clean up abuse then the incoming online regulator should take action.

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