Social media is continually evolving, and whilst the positive benefits are numerous, it is important to remember that it should be used responsibly and within the law.
Those who use it to abuse others online should be aware that their actions can and will be tackled.
Stephen Scully, a criminal law solicitor with Herefordshire law firm Lanyon Bowdler has observed that in the past few years, largely due to the increase in social media, the types of offences he represents are developing.
Stephen comments “More and more evidence is being produced of threats made on Facebook, Twitter or via text message. Phones and computers are then sent away for analysis. People should realise that comments made in the heat of the moment leave a permanent trace as soon as they are posted, by which point it is too late to delete.”
Recent high profile cases have also demonstrated the growing number of so called ‘trolls’ who attack people, an example being Olympian diver Tom Daley. In addition, ‘celebrities’ such as Rio Ferdinand have found out that a ‘re-tweet’ of someone else’s offensive comment can also alert the authorities.
Stephen concludes “The simple advice is think before you comment or tweet. Remember you are not just making that comment to just one person, you are in reality sharing it with the world!”