Positive steps on social media prosecutions

Loz Kaye commented on the statement made on Monday by Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, regarding the chilling effect that prosecutions of users on social networks for their comments can have on free speech as well as the The Crown Prosecution Service's consultation on new guidelines over when it is appropriate to prosecute for messages placed on Twitter and other social media sites.

"Removing the barriers and threats to free speech that have been put in place over the last decade is something that is long overdue and it is important that we take action. When a person can be jailed for light-hearted comments on social media it should be clear to that the law itself is broken . It seems that police and prosecutors have been unable or unwilling to use common sense to decide when to proceed with legal action and the scale of the problem is growing."

"Mr Starmers statement today is a positive step. It is vital that any new guidelines reflect how people use social media, that they remove the ambiguity about what could land them people in trouble, whilst strengthening free speech."

Of course there is still a long way to go, I still firmly believe that a review of the Communications Act 2003 is neccesary. We have seen one positive step already this year with the news that it will soon no-longer be illegal to use insulting words in public but it is important that we continue this trend in a way that strengthens our right to expression and free speech."

Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 - 10:45
Loz Kaye
+44 (0) 161 987 7880

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