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New guidelines still no excuse for letting your common sense log off when you log on

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Dec 19, 2012.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    New guidelines have been published to help make it clearer when we could be at risk of breaking the law using social networks.

    As The Guardian reports, the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has said that users should only face trial if their comments on sites such as Twitter and Facebook go beyond being offensive.

    The new guidelines have been drawn up following increasing concern regarding a number of high profile cases such as the prosecution of Paul Chambers after he tweeted a joke threatening to blow up an airport, and others involving celebrities such as Olympic diver Tom Daley.

    The aim of the new rules is to make it easier to understand the circumstances in which a case should be prosecuted, with those who have gone too far while drunk less likely to be at risk, provided they take swift action to delete an offensive post.

    The possibility of breaking the law hasn’t gone away though. Posts which threaten violence, target individuals for harassment or that breach court orders designed to protect others would still be likely to lead to prosecution. Anyone passing such messages on, for example by retweeting, could also be in trouble too.

    Posts that are considered "grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false" could still lead to charges under laws to prevent malicious communications although there will be tougher tests to ensure any action was in the public interest.

    Although this may mean the consequences could be less serious but it’s still important to have an understanding of how the law could affect you online. Following these simple steps will still help:

    • When you log-on, don’t let your common sense log-off! Something said in the heat of the moment could still have unpleasant consequences.
    • If you are going to say something negative about someone online, be absolutely sure it is true before you publish.
    • Don’t post jokes online that might be seen to encourage people to do anything illegal or violent.
    • Just because everyone else is talking about a topic doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so – if there’s any doubt, it’s best to say nowt!
    You could also take our free online test which also gives helpful advice on how to stay out of trouble.

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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