A very important legal man has taken a stand against the sudden rush to prosecute people who post offensive things on Twitter, claiming that an apology and deleting the message should be enough to avoid a legal kicking.
The comments come from Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions. He believes action should be proportionate to the crime, and should take into account spur-of-the-moment drunken outbursts, saying: “In a number of cases that we’ve seen it’s clear that either once challenged or once sober the individual takes down offensive material very quickly and expresses genuine remorse.”
Cases where insults are more sustained and prolonged will still land you in serious trouble, but for one-off outbursts and the occasional insult, the disclaimer “Sorry, I tried a seven per cent Hungarian lager at lunch time and wasn’t feeling my usual self on the afternoon in question” ought to be enough to get you out of a scrape.
The new guidance says that prosecution for random outbursts ought to become less prevalent across the board, as long as the comment is deleted either by the original poster or the social network itself and the poster is deemed sorry enough. [Telegraph]