TOWIE’s Bobby Norris reveals that the online safety bill he has been campaigning for over the past four years is ‘very close’ to becoming a law.
Chatting to co-host Stephen Leng on Access All Areas, the 35 year-old was excited to disclose that plans are moving forward: “I really feel like we’re so close to a law being passed now.”
This comes shortly after the reality star attended a debate in parliament to discuss the motion: “I was back at the house of commons for another debate on my anti-trolling campaign, which I think I started about four years ago.
“It was such a productive debate… and it looks very close that the online safety bill is gonna become law.”
This progress comes at a crucial time as the former TOWIE star explained how online abuse has significantly increased during the pandemic: “I think especially off the back of the last two years there’s been such a rise in trolling online.
“A lot of people have been at home spending so much of their days on social media and whether it was their anxiety about the situation, or people’s anger or hate… there was definitely a huge rise in it happening.”
He added: “I’m a big believer that hurt people, hurt people.”
Despite acknowledging this worrying trend and having experienced a lot of online abuse first hand, Bobby’s recent trip to parliament filled him with confidence: “Everyone seems to just be on the same page and that’s the lovely thing, like that the MP’s even acknowledge it.
“The MP’s stand up and they’ve got their research on it and they’re giving their reasons why they believe this needs to become a law and why this change needs to happen quick.”
He added: “That excites me because I know how many people this is gonna help.”
Bobby went on to explain why it’s so imperative this law needs to be passed, not just for his own safety, but for society in general: “I’ve always been the first to say that this isn’t about me, it’s about the messages I get from people that suffer. It isn’t just people in the public eye who receive online hate and abuse.
“I’m just so grateful that the powers above are actually acknowledging that something needs to be done.”
The star also commented on how outdated laws surrounding online abuse have become, given the rise in social media in recent years: “I think technology has grown so quick so fast relatively speaking. You have to remember a lot of laws are from like hundreds of years ago.
“Even when you look back 10/11 years ago, what it was to what it is now, it’s a very different thing. The genie’s out the bottle and the laws just haven’t kept up with technology.”
Bobby concluded that the future looks bright for online safety: “All I can say is I do feel very positive about it, and everyone wants to be on the same page and that excites me because I know how many people this is gunna help.”
Listen to the full episode of Access All Areas, also featuring Jujubee, Amy Anzel and Jackson Mawhinney here.