Yes, Britain has become a nation in which offensive speech can become a police matter. Where, in April this year, a 19-year-old woman was convicted of sending a “grossly offensive” message after she posted rap lyrics that included the N-word on her Instagram page. Where, also in April, a Scottish shitposter was found guilty of a hate crime for teaching a pug to do a Nazi salute and posting the footage on YouTube. Where in recent years individuals have been arrested and in some cases imprisoned for making racist comments or just cracking tasteless jokes on Twitter.
Even more perversely, these non-crimes really just mean “insulting comments.” So if you’re in Yorkshire and someone on Facebook calls you a fat slob, call the cops. If you wear a niqab and a work colleague tells you—a la Boris Johnson—that you look a little bit like a mailbox, phone the police.
- Arrests for ‘offensive’ Twitter and Facebook messages up by a third. Said something naughty in London? You could be cuffed
- According to the Register, a total of 2,500 Londoners have been arrested over the past five years for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media. In 2015, 857 people were detained, up 37 per cent increase since 2010.
- Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter? Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors
Two men have been arrested after “disgusting” racist stickers claiming to link migration with the coronavirus pandemic were posted in Sheffield. The stickers bear the logo of the far-right Hundred-Handers group and read: “Open border, virus disorder” and “Pubs closed, borders open”.
A man in the UK has been arrested on charges of inciting racial hatred on social media, after he tweeted about asking a Muslim woman to “explain” the terror attacks in Brussels.
Arrested for this tweet: “So a bin lorry has apparently driven in 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash it’s picked up in one day.”
Kate Scottow was found guilty of persistently making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance/inconvenience and anxiety to Hayden.
Woods was charged by British police under section 127 of the U.K. Communications Act 2003, which found that his message was “grossly offensive” or “of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.” He was arrested “for his own safety,”
Police in Kent have arrested a man after a picture of burning poppy was posted on a social networking site.
Benjamin Flatters, of Lincoln, was arrested last night after complaints were made to Lincolnshire Police about comments made on Facebook, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature. He was charged with an offence of malicious communications this afternoon in relation to the comments, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said.