The Government's Updated the Guidelines for What's Naughty on Social Media

By Chris Mills on at

Ever proactive and on the ball, the Crown Prosecution Service has finally got around to updating its charging guidelines, to reflect the rise of these tiny start-ups called Facebook and Twitter. Thankfully, all the rules seem to be pretty sensible.

As of today, there's four things a social media communique can potentially fall foul of:

- "Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence"
- "Communications which specifically target an individual or individuals and which may constitute harassment or stalking"
- "Communications which may amount to a breach of a court order."
- "Communications which...may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false."

The only real change here from the interim guidelines the CPS has previously published is the emphasis that 'humorous' tweets won't be prosecuted, even if it isn't a very funny joke. Communications have to be more than just 'offensive or disturbing', they have to create "fear or apprehension". I'm sure lawyers are going to dine out for years on the difference between the two. [CPS via SlashGear]