Do you believe the Internet is outside the law, that Twitter, blogging and other social media like facebook are completely free and open spaces where national legislation has little business interefering? Or that the law is the law and that Twitter et al should be treated like any other type of publishing, and therefore subject to the same libel, defamation, and other legislation that covers publishing content?
Whatever your view, here are some links to guidance on how to reduce the risk of being sued – or sent to jail! – for what you’ve tweeted or posted online.
- 10 Golden Rules of Twitter. by Times columnist and broadcaster David Aaraonovitch (2012)
- Crown Prosecution Service guidance on communication offences
- Taylor Wessing Solicitors guide to libel and social media (20 Nov 2012)
Some bits and bobs of law:
- Social media: When should people be jailed for unpleasant comments, jokes, misogynistic abuse & threats of violence? – Guardian newspaper (13 June 2014)
People who’ve been sent to jail:
- Peter Nunn – Jailed for 18 weeks sending abusive tweets (repeated rape threats) to Labour MP Stella Creasy (Bristol) (September 2014) – BBC news – Evening Standard – Guardian – Huffington Post – ITV news – Metro – Telegraph – Times
- Robert Riley – Jailed for 8 weeks for tweeting about the stabbing to death of school teacher Anne Maguire (Port Talbot) (May 2014) – Guardian
- Jake Newson – Jailed for 6 weeks for tweeting about the stabbing to death of school teacher Anne Maguire (Leeds) (April 2014)
- Isabella Sorley – Jailed for 12 weeks for Twitter threats against feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) (January 2014) – Guardian
- John Nimmo – Jailed for 8 weeks for Twitter threats against feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez (South Shields) (January 2014) – Guardian
- Matthew Woods – Jailed for 3 months for posting sexually explicit comments about abducted child April Jones (Lancashire) (October 2012) – Guardian
- Liam Stacey – Jailed for 2 months for racist tweets sent after footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack (March 2012) – Guardian