UK Police: Twitter Must Act to Deal With Online Abuse

by Rukmani Krishna on Aug 7 2012 11:29 PM

 UK Police: Twitter Must Act to Deal With Online Abuse
The social networking site Twitter should take action 'as quickly as possible' to deal with any online abuse on the micro-blogging site, says a senior British police officer.
Stuart Hyde, the chief constable of Cumbria Police, who speaks on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was right for police to intervene in cases of bullying on Twitter.

It comes after the arrest of a teenager in connection with abusive tweets directed at Olympic diver Tom Daley and the jailing of a student for inciting racial hatred by tweeting about the footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Hyde said police forces need to take a 'common sense' approach when pursuing complaints about Twitter 'trolls', The Telegraph reports.

He also rejected calls for new laws to govern Twitter and said that problems may eventually be resolved by the website itself.

"This is a new technology, a new way of communicating, it has grown exponentially. There hasn't been separate legislation, so we are using legislation that wasn't particularly created for this, but it works reasonably well most of the time," Hyde said.

Hyde said that police have so far not received large numbers of complaints about abusive Twitter messages.

"I don't want police officers dragged off the streets to deal with frivolous complaints. Where these complaints are pretty serious, then it is quite right that we should intervene, and we do that," he said.