Over a quarter (27 per cent) of Brits believe web users should have the unreserved right to remain anonymous online, research from independent broadband news site, thinkbroadband.com, has discovered on Safer Internet Day.
The research, which interviewed 7,000 people, also discovered that 49 per cent support anonymity online but believe all users should have to register with a third party holding their details in case of abuse.
Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.com, said: “The issue of online anonymity is a complex one. The Internet has empowered many users by providing them with a platform to share views openly without fear of retribution or judgment, but we also see people making hurtful comments online that they would never consider making offline, in the expectation that their comments would never be attributed to them. Recent trials around abusive tweets have shown that anonymous comments online can cause very real damage offline.”
It was discovered that 78 per cent believe broadband provider should be required to offer free network-level adult content filtering.
Overall, Brits believe that the responsibility for protecting children online is shared between parents (99 per cent), school (99 per cent), government (80 per cent) and broadband providers (78 per cent) with parents accepting they hold primary responsibility.
“In order to maintain the right to anonymity online whilst protecting users from online abuse, the role of website operators and social media companies in particular is likely to be under close scrutiny. The Safer Internet Day initiative is a key part of ensuring everyone is aware of the tools available to them to protect both themselves and their children online and pushes the issue higher up the policy agenda,” Lahtinen concluded.
Over a third (38 per cent) support the government’s plan for ‘default on’ network-level filtering.