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New English legal guidelines target online trolls, abuse

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New English legal guidelines target online trolls, abuse

The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has released new guidelines that target online abuse and aim to help police identify online crimes more easily, the BBC reported. Examples of potentially criminal behaviour include "doxxing" (publishing people's personal information online), and "virtual mobbing", or using derogatory hashtags to incite more widespread harassment of victims.

"If you are grossly abusive to people, if you are bullying or harassing people online, then we will prosecute in the same way as if you did it offline,” Alison Saunders, director of Public Prosecutions, said to the BBC.

While making online "trolls" more accountable for their actions, the CPS guidelines also aim not to stifle freedom of speech, the Financial times reported. Moreover, context will be an important factor in decisions: "If you're offensive, the legislation would say you have to be grossly offensive, and that's quite a high test," Saunders said to the BBC.

CPS also launched a consultation on hate crime, seeking comments on its prosecution policy.


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2016-10-17 12:14

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