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29.09.18

Leading media lawyer to face SDT over alleged ‘offensive and profane’ comments on social media

Mark Lewis, a solicitor who undertook pioneering work in bringing phone-hacking claims against the News of the World, is being prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (‘SRA’) before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (‘SDT’) in respect of allegations that he posted ‘offensive and profane’ communications on social media. It is alleged by the SRA that on…

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8.08.18

Love Island and the perils of online trolling

Love Island has come to an end and it certainly divided opinion.  For some, the ITV2 reality dating show set in a luxurious villa in Mallorca was one of the highlights of this glorious summer and a welcome alternative to what seemed like endless hours of World Cup football.  For many others, it was the…

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16.07.18

Sentencing Guidelines introduced for ‘revenge porn’ and other intimidatory offences

The Sentencing Council has published definitive guidelines for intimidatory offences covering harassment, stalking, disclosing private sexual images (‘revenge porn’), controlling or coercive behaviour and threats to kill. Until the publication of these guidelines limited assistance was available for the sentencing court.  This is the first time any guidance has been given for stalking, revenge porn…

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6.02.18

Law relating to social media to be reviewed

The Prime Minister has indicated that the Law Commission will review legislation “to ensure that the criminal law, which was drafted long before the creation of social media platforms, is appropriate to meet the challenges posed by this new technology”. A new “social media code of practice”, providing guidelines for content and conduct and how companies report…

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31.10.17

#MeToo, naming and shaming: a risky business?

“#MeToo”: Five letters that have been tweeted millions of times in the past month, and demonstrate the enormous power of social media and how it can bring about change for the good.  The feeling of solidarity is a cathartic experience for many who have been the victim of sexual abuse, harassment or other forms of…

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12.10.17

Conviction quashed of a ‘flasher’ who was identified via Facebook gossip

A man convicted of indecent exposure has had his conviction quashed following a successful appeal to the Crown Court to have evidence of his identification via social media excluded.  The 22 year old butcher’s assistant had been accused of indecently exposing himself and chasing after the two female victims as they walked home from a…

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14.08.17

Libel/Defamation: Libel, privacy breaches and harassment on Snapchat

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging mobile application (app) that allows users to send videos and photos to their contacts. The recipient can normally only view an image/video for a limited period of time (perhaps just a few seconds).  This encourages some users to send risqué (sometimes explicit) images/videos to one another. This feature is far from foolproof….

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11.06.17

The rise of fake news

In 2016, 82% of adults in the UK used the internet on a daily basis compared with just 35% in 2006. Smartphones and mobile devices are the most popular tools for adults to access the internet with 71% accessing through smartphones. Using the internet for social networking on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and…

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25.08.16

Metropolitan police launch "Online Hate Crime Hub"

The Metropolitan Police are to set up a two-year pilot scheme involving five officers and a team of volunteers to identify online abuse and support victims.  Based in London, the team will filter and identify online hate crimes (hostile offences aggravated by reason of the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity) and allocate…

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22.05.16

Proposed sentencing guidelines for youth offenders target the use of social media in crime

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has published proposed guidelines for the sentencing of youth offenders.  Currently open to a public consultation, the draft guidelines suggest that the use of technology to document or glorify criminal activity be considered an aggravating factor that judges and magistrates should take into account when sentencing. The proposed guidelines will…

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