Twitter/Facebook – in the dock

One thing that Twitter is good for and that is getting the message out there.  If someone is missing then Twitter is ideal for sending appeals out, with photographs, so people can look for a missing person.  It is good for current breaking news.

But Twitter, like Facebook, have a very dark side to them, they can also be platforms that are used by people to spread malicious rumours and defamatory comments about a person.

Only recently Lord MacAlpine has been smeared on Twitter and still today people are tweeting links to sites where he is being accused of a heinous crime.  In fact those people by tweeting those links will probably find themselves in the dock very soon, because you see, people just can’t go on to any social networking site and say and do what they please.

More and more people are being hauled before the courts because of their comments on Twitter and Facebook.  This video from the BBC states which offence is being broken and why you could end up arrested.

Just like the Tory councillor who was arrested because the said a journalist needed to be stoned to death.

The following day the BBC also discussed this issue

We have just had the Leveson Inquiry and we are awaiting his report and his recommendations into press standards and ethics, but the truth of the matter is perhaps we need him now to pass recommendations about how the likes of social media should be used and what is acceptable and unacceptable and how websites should be regulated.

In the Telegraph yesterday Conor Burns MP, a Conservative member of Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport select committee said:

 “At the moment you have got this situation where newspapers are rightly constrained by libel and defamation laws but people are linking to the stories through the internet and spreading vile and heinous lies about people, who have no right of redress.

“Lord McAlpine’s reputation was in tatters last week because people were able to post things with complete impunity on the internet. We are going to have to bring Facebook and Twitter under the same laws as libels committed by newspapers or television channels.”

He went on to say  that Lord Justice Leveson must look at the conduct of websites otherwise:

“it may well turn out to be the case that Lord Justice Leveson is looking into yesterday’s problems”.

There are millions of people who do conduct themselves properly on Twitter and Facebook and they use these social networking sites in the correct manner… but unfortunately it is because of the mindless few that regulation is now needed, which will ultimately spoil it for others because the regulations will have to be tougher and more stringent than they are at the moment…

And social networking sites will no longer be as free and as relaxed as they are today all because some people think they have the god given right to say what they want, when they want, without facing any repercussions.

Typical isn’t it?  Always the same.  A few mindless people spoil everything for others.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Social Tonic.


  2. Ann says:

    What’s your own position on this dilemma? If you had to choose either side, would u choose regulation or freedom to social networks?


    1. Bren says:

      In the ideal world Ann I would choose freedom, but unfortunately some people take those freedoms to extreme and overstep the mark. My own opinion therefore has to be the protection of those that are innocent and who have their lives torn apart by comments made on social networking sites. So some form of regulation would be necessary in my opinion.

      It is evident in some cases that laws have been broken and people are being libelled day in and day out, which is wrong.

      As I said those that act responsible on Twitter and are very careful what they say, will pay the price if stringent measures are brought in.


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