To tweet or not to tweet… Twitter raises important issues about privacy, free speech, censorship as well as individual rights and responsibilities.
Of course, there is nothing stopping a person from self-incriminating themselves by tweets revealing illegal conduct such as the reports of a doctor on sick leave.
How Can A Tweet Lead to Prosecution?
The balance struck by UK law will differ from that in other Countries. Twitter users in both commercial and non-commercial contexts should understand this balance.
Communications sent via social media including Twitter are capable of prosecution in England and Wales if they:
- Constitute a credible threat of violence;
- Constitute harassment or stalking;
- Amount to a breach of a court order or;
- Are considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.
Credible Threats on Twitter
- Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence to an individual can be considered under:
- Section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 if the threat is a threat to kill within the meaning of that provision.
- Section 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
- Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, which prohibits the sending of an electronic communication which conveys a threat, or;
- Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 which prohibits the sending of messages of a menacing character by means of a public telecommunications network
- Where there is evidence of hostility or prejudice the sentence may be increased for racial and religious aggravation and for aggravation related to disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
A tweet could amount to an assault if the person to whom it was directed has a genuine belief that physical harm is imminent.
A series of tweets which cause psychological damage to another person may also offend UK criminal law.
Criminal sanctions would apply in these cases. A tweet could also amount to intimidation if the tweeter makes a threat to engage in unlawful conduct (for example, violence, destroying property or in some circumstances breaching contractual obligations), which coerces another person into doing something for which they suffer loss or damage.
The tweet must however be more than “idle abuse” to offend the law of intimidation. An intimidating tweet could result in a claim for compensation for loss or damages suffered.
The test: Generally, an intention to cause harm or intimidation may offend either criminal or civil wrong laws.
Harassment or Stalking on Social Media
- If communication(s) sent via social media target a specific individual or individuals they will fall to be considered under this category if the communication(s) sent fall within the scope of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and constitute harassment or stalking.
- Harassment can include repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications or contact upon an individual in a manner that could be expected to cause distress or fear in any reasonable person. It can include harassment by two or more defendants against an individual or harassment against more than one individual.
- Stalking is not defined in statute but a list of behaviours which might amount to stalking include contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means.
- The prosecution will need to prove that the defendant pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment or stalking. The Act states that a “course of conduct” must involve conduct on at least two occasions.
- If there is evidence that an offence of stalking or harassment has been committed and the communication targets an individual or individuals on the basis of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity, the sentence may be increased.
Two or more tweets would be necessary for a claim of harassment to be made, as it involves a ‘course of conduct’.
Harassing tweets could result in a claim for damages for anxiety or financial loss, fines or imprisonment for up to six months.
The test: Tweets which the “reasonable person” would conclude cause alarm or distress may amount to harassment
Breach of Court Orders
- Court orders can apply to those communicating via social media in the same way as they apply to others. Accordingly, any communication via social media that may breach a court order falls to be considered under the relevant legislation, including the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, which makes it an offence to publish material which may lead to the identification of a victim of a sexual offence.
Examples:Breaking a Court Order
The case: Social media users circulate alleged pictures of child killer Jon Venables
Alleged offence: Contempt of court
Possible outcome: Fine or imprisonment
The attorney general is taking legal action against several people who published photographs said to show one of James Bulger’s killers.
There is a ban on publishing anything revealing the identity of Jon Venables or Robert Thompson.
Images said to show one of them as they are now appeared online earlier in February, and have since been removed. Venables and Thompson were convicted of killing two-year-old James in Merseyside in 1993.
In extremely rare cases, often involving child killers, a judge will make an order banning their identification to protect them from vigilante attacks and allow them to start a new life under a new identity.
The test: The social media users facing prosecution are accused of breaking the terms of a court injunction banning the identification of Venables and Thompson.
The terms of the order mean that if a picture claims to be of Venables or Thompson, even if it is not actually them, there will be a breach of the order.
Injunctions and Super-Injunctions
The case: 75,000 people name Ryan Giggs on Twitter as footballer at centre of injunction row
Offence: Contempt of court
The outcome: The judge declined to renew Giggs’ injunction banning details of an extramarital affair being published.
No action was taken against the Twitter users. Individuals can take out injunctions to prevent publication of potentially damaging material. A super-injunction prevents the media from reporting even the existence of an injunction. They were first used to protect the safety of notorious criminals when they were released from jail. In recent years they have been taken out by celebrities to stop the tabloid press exposing their private life. Judges have to be convinced a newspaper is ready to publish highly intimate information and that the applicant, however famous, has a right to privacy. But critics say they have a devastating impact on free speech.
The test: Media organisations or social media users potentially face prosecution for contempt of court if they report the identity of a person who has obtained a super-injunction.
How it’s changing: Since the controversy over Ryan Giggs and other well-known figures taking out super-injunctions, many have now been lifted. The government has also instructed judges to “time-limit” new ones. But a number of privacy orders are still thought to be in force.
Contempt of Court
The case: Juror Joanne Fraill contacts defendant in trial by Facebook
Offence: Contempt of court
Outcome: Fraill is jailed for eight months
In June 2011, 40-year-old Fraill became the first juror to be jailed for contempt over social media after she caused the collapse of a multi-million pound drugs trial after exchanging messages with a defendant.
Sentencing Fraill, the judge at London’s High Court said in a written ruling: “Her conduct in visiting the internet repeatedly was directly contrary to her oath as a juror, and her contact with the acquitted defendant, as well as her repeated searches on the internet, constituted flagrant breaches of the orders made by the judge for the proper conduct of the trial.”
The test: The main aim of contempt rules is to ensure fair trials by limiting juries’ exposure to information that might be prejudicial.
Jurors are meant to make up their minds on the evidence presented to them in court, not what they have seen in the media.
How it’s changing: The Law Commission believes a new criminal offence will have to be created to prevent jurors looking up information about a case online or chatting about it on social media. The government is due to legislate.
Reporting of Suspects in Sex Offence Cases
The case: Twitter users name the victim of rape by footballer Ched Evans
Offence: The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992
Outcome: Seven men and two women fined by Welsh magistrates.
Wales footballer Ched Evans was convicted of raping the 19-year-old woman in April 2012.
The case generated more than 6,000 tweets, with some people deciding to name the victim, suggesting she was “crying rape” and “money-grabbing”. All of those who pleaded guilty and were fined said that they did not realise they had broken the law by naming her.
The test: Media organisations are automatically banned from naming the victim of sexual assaults. The same rules apply to social media users.
Communications which are Grossly Offensive, Indecent, Obscene or False.
Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988
Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending to another of an electronic communication which is indecent or grossly offensive, or which conveys a threat, or which is false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
The offence is one of sending, delivering or transmitting, so there is no legal requirement for the communication to reach the intended recipient. The terms of section 1 were considered in Connolly v DPP  1 ALL ER 1012 and “indecent or grossly offensive” were said to be ordinary English words.
A person guilty of an offence under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine or both.
Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003
Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a “public electronic communications network” a message or other matter that is “grossly offensive” or of an “indecent, obscene or menacing character”.
The same section also provides that it is an offence to send or cause to be sent a false message “for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another”.
The defendant must be shown to have intended or be aware that the message was grossly offensive, indecent or menacing, which can be inferred from the terms of the message or from the defendant’s knowledge of the likely recipient. The offence is committed by sending the message. There is no requirement that any person sees the message or be offended by it.
Chambers v DPP 
In Chambers v DPP  EWHC 2157 (Admin), the Divisional Court held that because a message sent by Twitter is accessible to all who have access to the internet, it is a message sent via a public electronic communications network.
Since many communications sent via social media are similarly accessible to all those who have access to the internet, the same applies to any such communications.
However, section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 does not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990.
Offensive Comments on Twitter
The case: Reading man Sean Duffy mocks dead children on social media sites
Offence: Making “grossly offensive” comments under the Malicious Communications Act 1988
Duffy was jailed for 18 weeks in September 2011
Duffy admitted posting images on Facebook and YouTube mocking the deaths of four children, including 15-year-old Natasha MacBryde who committed suicide.
The case made legal history in England and Wales – but others have since found themselves in court for making offensive comments or expressing views that are likely to upset people, prompting concern that free speech is being restricted.
The right to be rude about someone in print is protected in English law. “Vulgar abuse” is not considered defamatory. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights also protects free speech.
Duffy was prosecuted under a piece of legislation originally designed to combat hate mail and nuisance phone calls.
The test: The decision to arrest and charge someone for making abusive comments is a subjective one to some extent. It depends on the police or prosecutor’s interpretation of the law.
How it’s changing: The Crown Prosecution Service has issued new guidelines in an effort to reduce what it sees as the alarming number of cases coming before the courts. “Just because the content expressed in the communication is in bad taste, controversial or unpopular, and may cause offence to individuals or a specific community, this is not in itself sufficient reason to engage the criminal law,” say the new CPS rules.
Tweeters can avoid prosecution if they rapidly withdraw a grossly offensive comment, express “genuine remorse” for it, or if the comment was not intended to be widely distributed in the first place.
Those aged under 18, who “may not appreciate the potential harm and seriousness of their communication,” are also unlikely to be hauled before the courts.
Libel on Twitter
Case: Lord McAlpine falsely accused
Alleged offence: Libel
Outcome: Cases against most tweeters dropped but action is still being taken against Sally Bercow, wife of Commons speaker John Bercow.
In November, Conservative peer Lord McAlpine announced his intention to seek libel damages from Twitter users over incorrect and defamatory insinuations linking him to child sex abuse.
The Conservative peer had already received a substantial damages settlement from the BBC over a Newsnight report falsely suggesting he was a paedophile.
Newsnight did not name him in its report, but it prompted a guessing game on Twitter which resulted in the peer being falsely accused of sex offences.
The law concerning Twitter is clear – if you make a defamatory allegation about someone you can be sued for libel.
It is the same as publishing a false and damaging report in a newspaper. But until the McAlpine case, no one had seriously attempted to exercise that right in the UK.
Twitter users may have felt a “safety in numbers”, says technology law expert Luke Scanlon, of Pinsent Masons.
They assumed they could say anything they liked about public figures because the public figure could not sue everybody.
Lord McAlpine has dropped threatened legal action against Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers and instructed his lawyers to concentrate their efforts on seeking £50,000 in damages from Mrs Bercow, in what is expected to be the first High Court Twitter libel trial. At the height of the Twitter frenzy, Mrs Bercow tweeted to her 56,000 followers: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*”
The test: A tweet is potentially libellous in England and Wales if it damages someone’s reputation “in the estimation of right thinking members of society”.
It can do this by exposing them to “hatred, ridicule or contempt”. It is a civil offence so you won’t be jailed but you could end up with a large damages bill. The rules also apply to re-tweets.
The best defence is if you can prove the contents of the tweet are true. You could also claim it was “fair comment” – your honestly held opinion on established facts.
Another possible defence is to claim you were covered by privilege, if it was something said in Parliament or in court, or that it was an example of “innocent dissemination” – you did not know you had published the comment (it might have been an automatic system).
The only way to be completely safe is to avoid tweeting gossip unless you know for a fact that it is true.
How it’s changing: Under the Act 2013, litigants in England and Wales will have to show that the words they are complaining about caused “substantial harm” rather than simply “harm” to their reputations.
Website operators may also be forced to remove potentially libellous comments by anonymous “trolls” or hand over their names and addresses to the authorities.
Threats on Twitter
The case: Paul Chambers joked on Twitter that he would blow up Robin Hood Airport.
Offence: Sending a “menacing electronic communication” under the 2003 Communications Act
Outcome: Found guilty in May 2010 but conviction quashed on appeal
Paul Chambers was living in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, when he joked on Twitter that he would blow up nearby Robin Hood Airport when it closed after heavy snow – potentially disrupting his travel plans.
He tweeted: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
His conviction was eventually quashed by the High Court, amid a high profile campaign to defend free speech on Twitter.
The test: It can come down to the judgement of police and prosecutors. Aggravating factors, such as racism and prejudice against religion, disability and sexual orientation will lead to increased sentences.
How it’s changing: The Chambers case appears to have been a turning point. Prosecutors have been urged to consider whether a threat to damage property or harm someone carries real menace before pushing ahead with a case.
“As a general rule, threats which are not credible should not be prosecuted, unless they form part of a campaign of harassment specifically targeting an individual within the meaning of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997,” say the new CPS guidelines.
Other Offences on Twitter
Two years ago users inciting that summer’s riots on Facebook, (even though in their case no riot took place) had their appeals to overturn four year prison sentences rejected. The Court of Appeal recognised the power of social media and the abuse of modern technology for criminal purposes”.
Many employees have found themselves disciplined and in some cases dismissed after making comments about their employers in social media or for other inappropriate online behaviour.
Employment tribunals have been prepared to uphold such dismissals as fair where the employer has a clear social media policy in place. Most employers are updating email/IT rules accordingly.
Tweets Revealing Personal or Confidential Information
Data protection laws protect against processing of personal information without permission. The rules do not apply to purely personal and household activities.
It is unclear whether statements made on twitter could ever be said to be “purely personal or of a household nature.”
Where they are not, there is a risk that data protection laws may be breached if consent is not obtained before revealing another person’s personal information.
The penalty for breaching data protection laws vary across Europe. In the UK, a breach of data protection laws may result in fines and criminal convictions.
Particularly in the employer-employee context, a person may be bound to keep information of another confidential.
A tweet breaching any such obligation could result in a claim for damages or an account of profits for any income made as resulting from the exposed information.
The test: Tweets revealing personal details about another person without their consent may breach data protection laws.
Tweets made within the intention of damaging another’s business, goods or services through false statements, or which are reckless with the truth as to another’s business, goods or services will offend the law against malicious falsehood. A maliciously false tweet could result in a claim for damages for loss and for further compensation for causing distress and “hurt feelings”.
The test: False tweets with the intent to injure another’s commercial interests, or recklessness as to the truth, will amount to malicious falsehood
Deceptive Tweets (and other misrepresentations)
A tweet containing a false statement that induces another person to act on it may offend laws against deceit and the making of misrepresentations. A duty may also arise for a professional or other skilled person not to make careless tweets.
Misleading commercial communications may offend either the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 and industry based advertising rules.
Untrue tweets in a commercial context can result in damages claims and prison sentences of up to two years.
The test: Is the tweet deceptive in nature or likely to deceive?
A tweet could offend copyright law if it reproduces even part of an isolated sentence from a copyright work.
Copyright law has changed dramatically over the last few years. Generally, UK laws tended to look at whether a substantial part of a copyright work had been reproduced, publicly made available, distributed, translated or adapted without a copyright holders consent.
Substantiality was measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. UK laws also concentrated on whether skill, judgement and labour went into the preparation of a work before concluding that copyright subsists in it.
However the effect of a recent European court of justice (ECJ) decision, which UK law must conform to, may mean that isolated sentences must be looked at disjunctively from a whole copyright work in order to determine whether an infringement has occurred.
Further ECJ decisions have suggested that rather than look for skill, judgement or labour in putting words together, there must be an assessment of whether or not an author has exercised creative choices in the form of intellectual effort in arranging words, images or sounds.
Claims for damages for loss suffered and criminal charges with prison sentences of up to two years can result from a tweet that infringes copyright law.
The test: A tweet which reproduces the work of another without consent will offend copyright law if that work gives evidence of another’s creative choices in arranging words, images or sounds.
Branded Tweets and Hashtags
Hashtags, marked with the # symbol, are used in order to alert users to relevant conversations taking place on Twitter.
There is a risk, however, that combining a hashtag with the trade mark of another person could result in trade mark infringement.
Trade mark law generally protects the trade mark owner against use of its trade mark without permission in a way that may create a likelihood of confusion or association with other similar products or services.
Where a trade mark has a significant established reputation, the protection will extend to association with any products or services (not merely similar ones) in a manner that amounts to taking an unfair advantage or is detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the established mark. Use of hashtags in these circumstances potentially could result in a damages claim.
The test: Does the use of a hashtag create a likelihood of association or confusion with the products or services of a trade mark owner?
The Fraud Act 2006 protects against fraudulent activities. An impersonator who opens a Twitter account could be exposed to a claim for fraud if the person who has been impersonated suffers loss or damage as a result of the impersonation.
A claim for fraud can result in criminal charges with a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines.
The test: Misleading or an untrue representation as to a person’s identity on twitter could amount to fraud.
Considerations for the Prosecution
Every day many millions of communications are sent via social media and the application of section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 to such comments creates the potential that a very large number of cases could be prosecuted before the courts.
Taking together, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, there are likely to be hundreds of millions of communications every month. In these circumstances there is the potential for a chilling effect on free speech and prosecutors should exercise considerable caution before bringing charges under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
There is a high threshold that must be met before the evidential stage in the Code for Crown Prosecutors will be met. Furthermore, even if the high evidential threshold is met, in many cases a prosecution is unlikely to be required in the public interest.
Since both section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 will often engage Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, prosecutors are reminded that these provisions must be interpreted consistently with the free speech principles in Article 10, which provide that:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers …”
As the European Court of Human Rights has made clear, Article 10 protects not only speech which is well-received and popular, but also speech which is offensive, shocking or disturbing (Sunday Times v UK (No 2)  14 EHRR 123):
“Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society … it is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also as to those that offend, shock or disturb …”
Freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information are not absolute rights. They may be restricted but only where a restriction can be shown to be both:
- Necessary; and
These exceptions, however, must be narrowly interpreted and the necessity for any restrictions convincingly established.
The common law takes a similar approach. In Chambers v DPP  EWHC 2157 (Admin), the Lord Chief Justice made it clear that:
“Satirical, or iconoclastic, or rude comment, the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it should and no doubt will continue at their customary level, quite undiminished by [section 127 of the Communications Act 2003].”
Prosecutors are therefore reminded that what is prohibited under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 is the sending of a communication that is grossly offensive.
A communication sent has to be more than simply offensive to be contrary to the criminal law. Just because the content expressed in the communication is in bad taste, controversial or unpopular, and may cause offence to individuals or a specific community, this is not in itself sufficient reason to engage the criminal law. As Lord Bingham made clear in DPP v Collins  UKHL 40:
“There can be no yardstick of gross offensiveness otherwise than by the application of reasonably enlightened, but not perfectionist, contemporary standards to the particular message sent in its particular context. The test is whether a message is couched in terms liable to cause gross offence to those to whom it relates.”
Context and Approach
Context is important and prosecutors should have regard to the fact that the context in which interactive social media dialogue takes place is quite different to the context in which other communications take place. Access is ubiquitous and instantaneous.
Banter, jokes and offensive comments are commonplace and often spontaneous. Communications intended for a few may reach millions. As Eady J stated in the civil case of Smith v ADVFN  1797 (QB) in relation to comments on an internet bulletin board:
“… [they are] like contributions to a casual conversation (the analogy sometimes being drawn with people chatting in a bar) which people simply note before moving on; they are often uninhibited, casual and ill thought out; those who participate know this and expect a certain amount of repartee or ‘give and take’.”
Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:
- Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
- Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
- The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.
If so satisfied, prosecutors should go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.
The Public Interest
When assessing whether a prosecution is required in the public interest for cases that fall within this category (that is category 12(4) above), prosecutors must follow the approach set out in these guidelines as well as the wider principles set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
In particular when prosecutors are considering the public interest questions set out in paragraph 4.12 of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, they should have particular regard to paragraph 4.12(c) and the question asked about the circumstances of and harm caused to the victim where the communication is targeted at a particular person.
Since section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 will often engage Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, no prosecution should be brought unless it can be shown on its own facts and merits to be both necessary and proportionate.
A prosecution is unlikely to be both necessary and proportionate where:
- The suspect has expressed genuine remorse;
- Swift and effective action has been taken by the suspect and/or others for example, service providers, to remove the communication in question or otherwise block access to it;
- The communication was not intended for a wide audience, nor was that the obvious consequence of sending the communication; particularly where the intended audience did not include the victim or target of the communication in question; or
- The content of the communication did not obviously go beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in an open and diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.
This is not an exhaustive list, however, and each case must be considered on its own facts and its own individual merits.
In particular, where a specific victim is targeted and there is clear evidence of an intention to cause distress or anxiety, prosecutors should carefully weigh the effect on the victim, particularly where there is a hate crime element to the communication(s).
A prosecution for an offence under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 may be in the public interest in such circumstances, particularly if the offence is repeated.
Alternatively, a prosecution may be merited for an offence under section 127 (2) of the Communications Act 2003 in respect of the persistent use of a public electronic communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, assuming the high threshold for prosecution has been passed.
Children and Young People
The age and maturity of suspects should be given significant weight, particularly if they are under the age of 18. Children may not appreciate the potential harm and seriousness of their communications and a prosecution is rarely likely to be in the public interest.
Public Order Legislation
Although some cases may fall to be considered under public order legislation, such as Part 1 of the Public Order Act 1986, particular care should be taken in dealing with social media cases in this way because public order legislation is primarily concerned with words spoken or actions carried out in the presence or hearing of the person being targeted (i.e. where there is physical proximity between the speaker and the listener) and there are restrictions on prosecuting words or conduct by a person in a dwelling.
Prosecutors are reminded that in Redmond-Bate v DPP (Divisional Court, 23 July 1999), Sedley LJ emphasised that under the Public Order Act 1986 the mere fact that words were irritating, contentious, unwelcome and provocative was not enough to justify the invocation of the criminal law unless they tended to provoke violence.
In a similar vein, in Dehal v CPS  EWHC 2154 (Admin), Moses J, referring to section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, held that:
“the criminal law should not be invoked unless and until it is established that the conduct which is the subject of the charge amounts to such a threat to public order as to require the invocation of the criminal as opposed to the civil law”.
However, in some cases, prosecutors may be satisfied that the incitement provisions in Part III of the Public Order Act 1986 are relevant and should be used. Such cases must be referred to the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division and require the consent of the Attorney General to proceed.
Social Networks have become a common part of every day life for members of the public and corporate entities, millions take to twitter everyday to express their views or to promote a particular product or brand.
The next time you tweet just take a moment to think- you never know who could be following, it is important to be aware that what is published on social networking sites has a wider audience.
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