Is this a step too far?
Katie Price has called for cyberbullies to be put on a register similar to the government’s sex offenders list.
The 38-year-old Loose Women star has made a petition to make cyberbullying a criminal offence after her 14-year-old son Harvey, who is autistic, was taunted online.
And she says her ultimate goal is to make cyberbullying a specific criminal offence which if you are found guilty of will have a lasting effect on your life.
Discussing her mission on the ITV show on Tuesday, the mother-of-five said: “I cannot believe there isn’t a law on this. I have five children but it is only Harvey. Nothing is said about my other children. I think we should have a register as a deterrent but there needs to be structure. Who do you punish and to what extreme.
“If someone went for a job interview and was on the sex offenders list you would say ‘I like them but they are on the list’. There should be a criminal record for being an online troll.
“Something needs to be put in place. We want a register like the sex offenders list.”
Harvey has ADHD, partial blindness and suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, which causes a variety of medical problems and since his last appearance on the ITV show, three people have been arrested for online abuse aimed at him.
But Katie said the police don’t know what to do with them.
She explained: “There is no punishment or consequence. There should be some action but nothing is being done.
“Whether your age, gay or colour of your skin you can be bullied. If they knew they could be punished they might not do it.
“People commit suicide from the bullies and it’s about time something is done about it.”
The model decided to set up an online petition and if it reached more than 10,000 signatures the government would look at it. If it reached 100,000 Parliament would take it into debate.
The petition has now got more than 200,000 signatures in just one week and now Katie is waiting for the Parliamentary Petition Select Committee to get back in touch.