Glitch!UK mentioned in BuzzFeedNews

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“This will change the way people view online abuse,” Newham Councillor Seyi Akiwowo, who was targeted by racist trolls, told BuzzFeed News.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today committed to treat online hate crime as seriously as offline offences, while taking into account the potential impact on the wider community as well as the victim.

It has published new public statements explaining how it will prosecute hate crime and support victims in England and Wales. They confirm that those who experience online abuse on the basis of their ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, or sexuality will be treated the same as victims of the same crimes offline.

The CPS said it was making the change “in recognition of the growth of hate crime perpetrated using social media”.

In 2015/16 it completed 15,442 hate crime prosecutions, the highest number it has ever recorded.

Earlier this year, Seyi Akiwowo, a councillor in the London borough of Newham, was targeted by racist trolls after her speech on refugees went viral. She told BuzzFeed News at the time that she was shocked by the number of racist comments she received online, such as “Who’s this monkey?”, messages saying she should “lynch herself”, and messages calling her “Harambe’s cousin”.

A day after she received the abuse in February, 26-year-old Akiwowo from London created Glitch, an online community that works with young women and girls to end online violence. “This was my response to the abuse I received,” she told BuzzFeed News. She said the biggest highlight has been talking to young people at Festival of Education in June.

You can read the full article by Victoria Sansusi here

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