DPP Warns Against Threat To Free Speech Of Twitter Prosecutions

As recent figures show that the number of crimes involving Facebook and Twitter has increased  too much, Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, came out with a speech warning about the “chilling effect” of the online freedom.

The number of people charged for offenses committed on such sites in 2012 is 650.

In December the very same Mr. Starmer issued new guidelines for crimes committed via social media.

These guidelines may help in cases when things are not exactly clear and do not warrant a really serious response.

According to Mr. Starmer the roles of Twitter and Facebook have changed a lot and the things people say and write there may have serious consequences.

In his words offensive tweets which later turn into crimes need to be set very high. “There’s a lot of stuff out there that is highly offensive that is put out on a spontaneous basis that is quite often taken down pretty quickly and the view is that those sort of remarks don’t necessarily need to be prosecuted.

“I think that if there are too many investigations and too many cases coming to court then that can have a chilling effect for free speech.”

He also said that in the cases when a person deleted offensive comments and apologized, he or she would not need a criminal prosecution.

Now Mr. Starmer’s guidelines do undergo a three month consultation.

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