World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


New English legal guidelines target online trolls, abuse

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

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.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-10-17 11:14

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


© 2019 WAN-IFRA - World Association of News Publishers

Footer Navigation