London MP Sarah Jones says social media is ‘fuelling violence’ and knife crime

The BBC reports that one Labour MP says social media is “fuelling an escalation in the cycle of violence among young people”. Sarah Jones says she wants ministers to crack down on online material promoting knife crime in the same way as extremist content.

The MP for Croydon Central named the likes of YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram in parliament. She says fights between rival groups and gangs can now be seen by thousands of people online.

“When I ask young people what’s changed over the last couple of years, the conversation repeatedly returns to social media and the online world,” said Sarah Jones.

“Social media is undeniably fuelling an escalation in the cycle of violence among young people. There’s a growing trend of documenting attacks and threats between rival groups, of violating others and widespread bullying through tools like Snapchat and Instagram.”

The MP called for a crackdown on social media and schools as part of a 10-year strategy to tackle knife crime across government departments.

She also says more money needs to be put into policing and other public services, as well as suggesting knife crime and youth violence be treated as a public health issue.

“What we have been doing since we launched our strategy is to build the capacity in the system to understand this very complex issue – that it’s sometimes driven by gangs, it’s sometimes driven by organisers of serious crimes, [and] yes, it is disproportionately young people.”

Read more London MP Sarah Jones says social media is ‘fuelling violence’ and knife crime

What more can schools do? Will the social media giants listen? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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