Sunny Hostin said Wednesday that she would be in favor of social media platforms mandating identification prior to creating accounts.
Hostin said on ABC’s “The View” that, after receiving numerous racist attacks from anonymous users on social media, she thought people ought to be required to present identification before they were allowed access to the platforms. (RELATED: ‘Really, Really Ghoulish’: Sunny Hostin Blames Fox News For Spreading Misinformation)
Cohost Whoopi Goldberg introduced the topic, spurred by a call from actor Idris Elba and inspired by anonymous racially-charged attacks against black British athletes following their Euro Cup loss.
“Idris Elba wants social media sites to make users prove their identities so they cannot troll people anonymously,” Goldberg began. “Now, do you think this would work, Sunny?”
“I really do, and I think this is a terrific, terrific idea. I mean, I am subjected, daily, to racist attacks on social media. I’m talking daily. Sometimes in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands, and it’s — it’s painful, it’s hurtful, and it’s always from someone who has a cat icon, a flag icon, a frog icon, you know, all sorts — an eagle icon, and they are, I believe, just Twitter thugs, social media thugs, hiding in their mama’s basements,” Hostin replied.
She went on to argue that the anonymity provided by social media allowed people the confidence and freedom to say things that they would not have the guts to say if they were sitting across the table from her or whoever they were attacking. She also pointed out that anonymity allowed many to avoid potential consequences for the things they said.
“These are cowards, and, you know, people are always talking about ID, necessary for all sorts of things, then ID certainly should be necessary, a verified ID should be required before you start a social media account,” Hostin concluded. “The reason people are trolling like this is because there are little to no consequences because of their anonymity, and I love that Idris Elba put this out there.”
Cohost Meghan McCain, who has been very vocal about the number of attacks she has received on social media, agreed. “I like it,” she said.