Reasonable people are shocked at the killing of MP David Amess.
But this shines a wider light on the issue of online hate around the wider process of democracy.
One MP’s constituency manager interviewed on BBC Radio 4 spoke of logging 100 death threats a week.
But I’m also sure in local government, elected members are also threatened.
The LGA have a really useful download on handling intimidation that you can find here that can help people in the public eye.
Data says that comms people are in the firing line
In the most recentb set from June 2021, of the 400 respondents who work in pubklic sector comms, 30.4 per cent have seen verbal abuse aimed at their organisation, 13.2 per cent have had it aimed at them or a member of staff, 6.3 per cent have revieded threats of violence and 8.3 per cent have seen racist abuse.
That’s all on a weekly basis.
Anecdotally, going back several years people in comms have been stalked online and have taken time off with their mental health.
To act is to be reasonable
Now, this isn’t on a par with being stabbed in person but this is part of the side wash of the wider problem that should be taken seriously.
I’ve blogged before on the legal requirement to log threats as health and safety issues. Why? Two reasons. Because the law classifies a threat as violence in the workplace and it’s the law to log them and for the employer to take steps.
When I cover this in training on how to handle comment, criticism and abuse there’s often surprise.
Right now, in too many places it’s just seen as a part of the job to just shrug off.
That’s just not good enough.
Reasonable managers will be happy to act on this.