June 20th, 2013

What You Can and Cannot Say on Twitter

The CPS have released their guidelines on what you can and cannot say on Twitter before getting a knock on the door from the cops. On the banned list are:

  1. Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence to the person or damage to property.
  2. Communications which specifically target an individual or individuals and which may constitute harassment or stalking within the meaning of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
  3. Communications which may amount to a breach of a court order. This can include offences under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, breaches of a restraining order or breaches of bail. Cases where there has been an offence alleged to have been committed under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 should be referred to the Attorney General and via the Principal Legal Advisor’s team where necessary.
  4. Communications which do not fall into any of the categories above and fall to be considered separately (see below): i.e. those which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.

And crucially:

Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:

Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or

Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or

The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.

See the guidelines in full here. Prosecution face…


  1. 1
    Snag says:

    “False”. Yeah, I’d like to see them enforce that.



    • 6
      Silly, Silly, Silly. says:

      “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false”

      Are very dodgy areas and mean different things to different people.

      This simply only makes things worse as far as the law goes.


      • 14
        Snag says:

        The CPS are off to arrest Alan Sugar after he “falsely” tweeted that Arsenal conceded a goal in their match vs Newcastle.


      • 17
        Mark says:

        This is the wrong road to be going down, all of these anti-free speech laws need removing ASAP.

        Who do I vote for to get that?


      • 51
        Joe Bloggs. says:

        Good grief, in the real world I can see many schoolchildren being investigated for bullying and threats with bodily and mental harm on the misuse of the social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter. Also I see that any monitoring entity will need to know an ever changing language used by differing age groups and social strata. The onus should be on Twitter and Facebook to monitor and ban some words and report misuse of their systems.
        Children can be unbelievably cruel to each other, and make most adults seem almost civilized.
        Of course many of our liberal politically correct teachers such as in NUT(S) turn a blind eye to it and “do not want to get involved” – that is if they have taken the time to understand the language.
        In the same manner parents do not believe their children act this way, so that generally only the victims and sometimes their parents that feel the full effect of this cruelty.


        • 96
          Burgers and lawyers are exceedingly bad for you says:

          WTF doesn’t Kier Starmer and his merry band of deluded misfits stop all this effing nonsense and get on with processing real crime – like prosecuting thieving MPs and criminal ex-prime Ministers and cohorts?


    • 116
      Liar.Politicians says:

      How do these “laws” work when we’re constantly being harrassed and abused by politicians on every single evening news?


  2. 2
    Morgan's Organ says:

    CPS says we dont want to hear a Tweet from you!


    • 94
      Old Blind Pugh says:

      Geedo, you maybe guilty of 2,3,4 but not number 1 your window lickers will do that


  3. 3
    Mud Pie says:

    That’s Clear then.


    • 54
      Snotsicle says:

      They should have stuck to the spirit of Twitter and condensed the guidelines to 140 characters or less.


    • 113
      DR says:

      Does this mean I’ll get done for threatening by tweet to bang my head against a brick wall, regularly across the day?


  4. 4
    Islander says:

    Prohibition 5: Tweets that may distract you from your proper job of being Prime Minister.


  5. 5
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    I find restrictions on truthful things I can say, such as Mohamed was a pp43dophile, to be grossly offensive.

    Can someone put in a complaint for me?


  6. 7
    Chuka? says:

    So if a Politician Tweets something that is false, the CPS will prosecute him?


  7. 8
    Robbo says:

    So can you just call someone a c**t?


    • 10
      CPS says:

      Yes, unless it is a politician you are tweeting as that would be defamation of character, as a c**t is usefull.


  8. 9
    Sally Bercow says:

    But I do have an innocent face.


  9. 11
    Cut out the shit this is what they really want says:

    *You cannot tweet anything which a bed wetting liberal may find offensive.


  10. 12
    1984 says:

    And they call that freedom of speech?


  11. 13
    Joe says:

    Best just shutdown your twitter account.


  12. 15
    CIA says:

    We want to know how that Limey has the technology to produce a home made device which will blow up a whole airport.


  13. 16
    Gordon Brown says:

    Laugh,I pissed myself when I saw this.

    GOLD 1,288.10 -85.50 -6.22%


    • 32
      Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Ecoloons says:

      Heading for sub $1000 by years end.

      I remember Guido saying he was still long on gold @ $1700 and telling us all to buy gold & tinned food. LOL


    • 38
      George Gideon Oliver Osborne says:

      I’m not doing too bad either old chap.

      FTSE 100 6202.77
      -146.05 -2.30%


      • 59
        USA Today - non partisan version says:

        Bernanke stating he may curtail or stall the buying of bonds and QE the cause?
        He has stated he feels the USA is recovering, even in Detroit?
        Well it is not an election year so Obama must be really feeling the hurt that US general public disatisfaction is creating for him to yet again strong-arm Bernanke.


  14. 18
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Ecoloons says:

    So if i tweet that 2+2=5, i’ll be arrested. LOL


  15. 19
    Muzees get a free ride, apparently says:

    Well, Anjem Choudrhy, who the lefties never dare to condemn for his tweets inciting violence against women, J*ws, gays and non-muslims, breaks practically all those rules on a daily basis, so why haven’t the fucking plod arrested the p*edo worshipping c-unt?


    • 25
      CPS says:

      Unfortunately the data protection act prevents us from answering this question.


      • 48

        LoL. Alistair Graham on the Today Programme this morning pulled the rug on that excuse with rgard to the CQC. Will we see an unravellling elsewhere. i doubt it.


        • 92
          Anonymous says:

          That they are making such a drama about releasing names suggests to me there is an awful lot more to come than we realise


          • Matilda says:

            Let us hope so. These filthy stables need a bloody good clear out from top to bottom. All we really need is a few dozen battleaxe type Matrons to sort it all our over a weekend.


    • 118
      broderick crawford says:

      coz he provides them with a daily quota of sixteen vestal virgins ,,,, fresh from the white slavery soukh.


  16. 20
    Peter Martin says:

    Vague law is bad law.

    Like too many, there seems enough for it to be what they want it to be, depending on who they decide to take to task… or not.


  17. 21
    Lord Wabbit says:

    Bunneez will carry on fearlessly insulting da filthy, stinking europigs and taliban loving traitors like Cameron & Obama and filthy islamist scum. Mullah Omar has sex in pig’s bottoms!


  18. 26
    Tony Soprano says:

    Where’s googootz, Clegg? Tell him he owes me my fuckin’ money! And if he doesn’t square it with me today, I’ll take him to Satriales and use the meat grinder with the help of Big Pussy and my nephew Chris.


    • 53
      The Crown says:

      We have determined that this Tweet is not only ethnically offensive to New Jersey Guidos, it is also in extremely bad taste and meant only to inflict mental cruelty upon the late James Gandolfini’s family in their hour of grief.

      Hence our decision to prosecute.


  19. 28
    George Orwell says:

    I warned you all.


  20. 33
    RIP Tony says:

    Can’t they make it law to arrest any politician tweeting RIP when a famous person dies?


  21. 34
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Caption contest.


  22. 36
    Acleron says:

    So the CPS are going to be arresting all the alt-medders who advertise on Twitter. That should be fun.


  23. 41
    George Carlin says:

    Would anyone care to tell me the Twitter version of the Seven Words You Can’t Say On TV? It would certainly be a help– God forbid we accidentally tweet one of them!


  24. 43
    Braveheart was Welsh says:

    Yes but……but……can we still take the piss out of the welsh and jocks?


    • 56
      Barack O,Baumma says:

      No only the religion of piss.


    • 60
      Your Friendly Neighbourhood Bien-Pissant Service says:

      If George Carlin is to be trusted, you can take the piss outta them, you just can’t take a piss on them.


      • 105
        1955 humour says:

        That’s what Phil the Greek said one day as he was flying over London in a helicopter, “If I can’t reign over them, I might as well piss over them”.


  25. 61

    If I say you are all a load of white bastards reading this, then presumably that would be OK.

    However, if I were to say that you were a load of black bastards reading this, then one presumes that would be regarded as offensive.

    Have I got that right?


    • 65
      CPS says:

      Pretty much spot on.


      • 67
        Pundit too too says:

        You could even say yellow but probably not brown.


      • 70

        Thanks for that. Just as I thought.

        It is not against the law for me to think I want to cause damage to (let’s pick one at random) Ed Balls, is it?


        • 75
          CPS says:

          In this case so long as you actually fulfil your desire then no as it would be in the nations interest.


          • Oh dear! Had you not qualified your statement and simply confirmed that I was free to think about doing what was proposed then I might have said I was thinking about causing damage to Ed Balls (let’s not beat about the bush any more!)

            Now, due to this complication, I shall have to go and seek further advice before I even think anything. :-)


        • 77
          A Civil Servant says:

          It is not just legal, it is your patriotic duty. However, you should not act on your thoughts without having filed a proposal in triplicate with the appropriate Balls Damaging Licencing Authority at least 28 days in advance, appending a full Environmental Impact assessment and the correct £76.00 fee.


    • 68
      Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

      Doesn’t that imply that being black is offensive?


  26. 64
    End Impunity says:

    So can we say that the CPS are fucking useless – so useless that in a third world country their uselessness would bring to mind the excuses available for political bias and endemic corruption.


  27. 69


    • 85
      Abbotty says:

      If only the headline and the story had some connection.


    • 108
      Just an ornery expat says:

      If Dinabott had the ability to read and remember, she would know that this was entirely expected as bankers deferred their bonuses to this year when the 5% reduction in tax was implemented. Any sensible person – and not only bankers – should have done exactly the same thing.

      Just how do these fucking brainless fat balck idiots get themselves voted not only into Parliament but also get awarded a Shadow Ministerial portfolio?

      Glad I emigrated 15 years ago, so none of it concerns me – but I do worry for my relatives that chose to stay behind in that cess-pit of a country.


  28. 71
    For once, this dirty raghead says something I can agree with. Fuck all muzees! says:


  29. 73
    The Peoples Assembly says:

    Liquidation Wave Sweeps Globe In Bernanke Aftermath



  30. 74
  31. 84
    Nervous Tweeter says:

    Can I say that Alex Cameron is the best QC ever?


  32. 87
    Hargaret Modge, Labour MP and Hypocritical serial long term aggressive Tax Avoider + expenses thief says:

    Well that takes all the fun out of it.

    Gordon Brown’s a retarded one eyed scottish idiot……it’s the right thing to say. Mind you he does make Ed’s Balls look good and that ain’t easy.


  33. 88
    Taxfodder says:

    Twitter = utter tripe… Face book = A snoopers paradise

    Never had them don’t need them…indeed there are more than enough wankers trying to tell you how to think, run your life what to say and what not as it is…

    Ignore them and quietly do as you please…..that is if you have a life.


  34. 91
    Anonymous says:

    Imagine there are two *identical* comments in some famous person’s timeline that the famous person finds so offensive that they draw attention to the comment by re-posting it One comment is from a person in the UK and the other from the US.

    The person in the UK could be prosecuted. The person in the US would not and their comment would not even be deleted (unless blocked by the famous person).

    So what does prosecuting the person in the UK achieve, other than waste police time and court time, and potentially waste a prison place that could be better used for someone who’d comitted criminal damage or theft or assault (who at the moment probably get off with a caution or an ASBO).


    • 111
      Evenin' all says:

      All this just shows that the CPS is way over-staffed and have FAR too much spare time on their hands. Maybe the solution is to dispense entirely with their “services” – thus saving a few tanker loads of tenners in the process – and reverting to the old method where the plod concerned do the prosecuting themselves.


  35. 93
    I am a Hamburger says:

    Is Twigg a stalker ?


  36. 100
    Mesa Pete says:

    Reform Section 5:-

    57 Public order offences

    (1)The Public Order Act 1986 is amended as follows.

    (2)In section 5(1) (harassment, alarm or distress) for “, abusive or insulting” in the two places where it occurs substitute “or abusive”.

    (3)In section 6(4) (mental element: miscellaneous) for “, abusive or insulting” in the two places where it occurs substitute “or abusive”.

    Well that worked well then. The CPS guidance is now broader and more ambiguous than the section amended.

    Is that a parting gift from New Labour’s DPP?


  37. 114
    The BBC causes Serious Mental Illness says:

    Firstly: The CPS can go fuck themselves.

    Secondly: Twitter is a shit platform.

    Thridly: How on earth can you legislate or prosecute for making false statements, unless those statements are to the police as part of an ongoing investigation ?

    Finally: The BBC are shit.


  38. 117
    alexei says:

    4. seems a catchall and leaves things another legal nightmare.There are so few expletives as it is.


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