Report shows increase in online hate crime against persons with disabilities

The charitable organisation Leonard Cheshire has reported a 33% increase in reports of online hate crime against persons with disabilities between 2017 and 2018 in the UK. The report also shows that 75% of respondents perceived this type of crimes to be increasingly common. While acknowledging that this may show an increase in reports and follow-up, it also indicates it may be just ‘the tip of the iceberg’. A quote from victim Janine Howard vividly illustrates the abuse: 

‘People I don’t know take my photograph when I am out and about, they post it on social media for others to comment on. … The comments are nasty, hurtful and leave me feeling frightened and angry. There is no escaping this online abuse if I want to use social media. It’s horrible to know that my family might see this abuse online.’

In Online abuse of disabled people is getting worse – when will it be taken seriously? The Guardian expands on what it calls ‘this depressing trend’ in its commentary on the report.