Government to start issuing legal warnings to Facebook and Twitter users

4 December 2013

twitter_logo The government are going to start hitting people with legal warnings on Facebook and Twitter in a bid to try and stop them posting things that could be contempt of court. It should be called Peaches' Law, after the celebutante revealed the names of people involved in the Ian Watkins case.

Of course, there have been other incidents where people have Tweeted from court or leaked names involved in superinjunctions, and now, advisory notes will be sent from the account of the UK’s attorney general Dominic Grieve, @AGO_UK.

Grieve says that it is important that the government act now: "Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean that individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post. This is an exciting prospect, but it can pose certain challenges to the criminal justice system."

"In days gone by, it was only the mainstream media that had the opportunity to bring information relating to a court case to such a large group of people that it could put a court case at risk. That is no longer the case, and is why I have decided to publish the advisories that I have previously only issued to the media."

So is this censorship? Grieve thinks not: "This is not about telling people what they can or cannot talk about on social media; quite the opposite in fact, it’s designed to help facilitate commentary in a lawful way. I hope that by making this information available to the public at large, we can help stop people from inadvertently breaking the law, and make sure that cases are tried on the evidence, not what people have found online."

The Attorney General's Office tweeted that they normally issue around five advisories a year, but that has doubled in 2013. Watch what you're saying folks, this is the start of things getting serious.

TOPICS:   Social Media

5 comments

  • andyofyarm
    For once I have to agree.Idiot jurors going home to blab on, half lies and untruths put about to try sway a jury. Just shut up.
  • Dominic G.
    Mof. Please stop butchering the English language. Consider yourself warned.
  • OlPeculier
    I did jury service last month, and when the judge gave out the "internet warning" we were told to avoid posting about it on MySpace - I was the only jury member that knew what MySpace is/was! I did look up the defendents, but only after the case was closed and I still find it annoying that if I'm asked about my jury service, the one case where we found the defendent not guilty is the one I can't say anything about to explain our decision making - what is said in the jury room *has* to keep in the jury room.
  • Tits M.
    @OlP - so you liked the Brown envelope I gave you then?
  • OlPeculier
    @TIts - yes thanks, just sobered up...

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