Tuesday, 18 December 2012

All Tweeters Are Equal

So the Telegraph have run this story today

"The guidelines on how to deal with comments on social media are expected to be published by Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, according to a newspaper.
Mr Starmer is expected to say that while young people are active users of such websites, prosecutors should be slow to bring them before the courts.
The guidelines are expected to tell them to focus on the intent involved when posting comments, as well as context, and how many people read the insults, The Times reported."

It then goes on to say this :

"He has already publicly indicated that Twitter account holders who post "grossly offensive" messages but have few followers could escape prosecution."

Now I am not a lawyer but i have always understood that we are all equal under the law, So i am concerned about the what is "Few followers" means , from Wiki

" The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million active users as of 2012,"

As of last year there were 500 million active users so someone with say 2000 followers could be considered as having a "few followers" and therefore would not be prosecuted, here is a list of the top ten
  1. Lady Gaga (32,049,140 followers worldwide)
  2. Justin Bieber (31,377,695)
  3. Katy Perry (29,977,472)
  4. Rihanna (27,230,980)
  5. Barack Obama (24,418,534) - highest ranked account representing a politician
  6. Britney Spears (22,451,413)
  7. Taylor Swift (21,734,138)
  8. YouTube (20,672,560) - highest account not representing an individual
  9. Shakira (18,967,476) - highest ranked account based outside the United States
  10. Kim Kardashian (16,830,838)
 Back in the Telegraph 

"The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to to prosecute the teenager in part because he had only around a hundred followers."

So i am a bit confused, You see the amount of followers you have is something you cant really control ( unless you are intending to keep your followers down so you avoid being caught up for sending "abuse"), I have about 1000 followers (Thank you people by the way)  , how many would i need to fall foul of the new guidelines, and is even legal to decide on a prosecution based on the number of people they may have seen said "abuse" ?

Which now brings me on to "abuse" or as some say *offense* , Lets just say i send tweets to a Politician convicted of stealing taxpayers funds via expenses , what happens if i tweet that MP ( Or More likely Former MP now) this :

  "You thieving scumbag"

That could be classed as "abuse" by some ( despite be factually correct)  and could ( if i have enough followers) land me in trouble, Of course the simple answer is to stop taking *offense* ( but that would be to much like common sense ya know) .....

......But some tweeters are more equal than others.......

No comments:

Post a Comment