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British Labour lawmaker Dawn Butler has drawn criticism after announcing her intent to report online forum Mumsnet to the Metropolitan Police. In a country where the state of free speech is already challenging, Butler’s decision to report the forum to the police came after she received critical comments about her responses to the Brianna Ghey murder trial. The online backlash followed Butler’s claim that the brutal killing of 16-year-old trans teen Brianna was driven by transphobia, a claim the police and prosecution deny.
The murder was committed in Warrington, Cheshire in February that year by two other teenagers, and authorities have kept their identities undisclosed.
To address the criticism, Butler shared a video of Brianna’s father, Peter Spooner, outside the court. She placed blame on the current government, accusing it of fostering hate toward the trans community. The video sparked even more controversy as Mumsnet users accused her of exploiting the tragedy for political gain and was now weaponizing the case in an attempt to suppress free speech.
Butler publicly threatened to report Mumsnet to the Metropolitan Police. This action was met by further disagreement, with users branding it an attempt to silence dissent. Amidst this controversy, Mumsnet defended its platform by inviting Butler to identify any posts she finds particularly offensive.
Meanwhile, an investigation into Brianna’s murder revealed a “kill list” that involved four other children, suggesting that the murder was not motivated by transphobic hate, but by hate in general.