Harassment on Twitter and Facebook

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Tom Daley

Malicious messages and fake accounts are common around social networking sites, but a specific one aimed at Olympic Star Tom Daley went too far. With a 17 year old now being arrested and charged for harassment, and Facebook revealing they have more than 83 million fake users, how much control do they really have over their content?

Tom Daley and Beth Tweddle are just two of our Olympic Stars that have been hit by abusive messages on Twitter. With comments made about the swimmer’s father who passed away last year starting it all off, others have also decided to take to Twitter to voice their opinions about the Olympic performances. Others though, including “This Mornings” Host Philip Schofield, tweeted about how Tom Daley performed well and said his dad would be proud of him.

Since this incident, a Port Tablot Town Football Player has been arrested after a homophobic tweet was made to Tom Daley on Twitter. This was due to a prank played on the Football Player, Daniel Thomas, when he left his phone unattended. Further to this, Blue Peter host, Helen Skelton has left Twitter after saying she cannot deal with the negative comments.

Another issue that has been published regarding social networking sites is Facebook having more than 83 million fake users creating profiles and accessing profiles of others. This included 1.5% of profiles that Facebook described as “undesirable” and in breech of Facebook’s terms of service. So are these sites doing enough to protect their users?

Does Facebook and Twitter need to take more control over the safety of their users and monitor the content on it’s users pages?

Freedom of speech is an incredible power we have in todays society and people should be able to take to social networking sites without the fear of receiving abuse from other users. But when does that freedom of expression become criminal and who should be held accountable? The person who has tweeted the comment is the individual who will be arrested, but when do Twitter and Facebook have to start taking responsibility for providing the ‘soap box’ platform for these people to send their abuse out from?

Written by Emily Gowers
Enquiry Agent

Kemp Investigations and Legal Services
08444 142 145


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