UK diver Tom Daley subjected to abuse by Twitter user @Rileyy_69
WARNING: Some content in this post may be considered offensive and contains strong language.
Twitter user @Rileyy_69, who rather vainly describes himself as “gorgeous and the sweetest boy ever, two in one!!” sent this tweet to Tom Daley, the Team GB diver, after he missed out on a medal at the Olympics
Daley’s father passed away just a few months earlier due to cancer. After a barrage of criticism from other Twitter users, Rileyy69 suddenly became apologetic:
He then claimed he hadn’t known that Tom’s dad had passed away, and locked his account. Later he reopened the account and began sending more abuse to Tom, including a threat to “drown [Daley] in the pool”.
ЯIᄂΣY JЦПIӨЯ @Rileyy_69
“@tomdaley1994 i’m going to find you and i’m going to drown you in the pool you cocky t*** your a nobody people like you make me sick”
30 Jul 12
(The user has now removed the tweet, presumably in an attempt to destroy evidence, so a plain text version is above)
The Twitter user then appeared to think that him being reported about by the media amounted to harrassment
He then started threatening other Twitter users who had come to Daley’s defence:
Rileyy_69 then tried to use freedom of speech to defend himself, not realising that the right to freedom of speech and expression is actually a qualified right, meaning the Government can interfere with it where necessary. For example, the Twitter user is now liable to prosecution for harassing Daley, and for threatening to drown him.
The following laws apply in this situation:
Protection from Harassment Act 1997 - states that it is unlawful to cause harassment, alarm or distress by a course of conduct and states that ‘A person must not pursue a course of conduct, which:
- amounts to harassment of another
- he knows, or ought to know, amounts to harassment of the other.’
The police have successfully used the Protection from Harassment Act to prosecute for the sending of offensive e-mails through the internet. Such messages will also constitute an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 - A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he/she
- uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour; or
- displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
Malicious Communications Act 1998/Telecommunications Act 1984 - it is an offence to send an indecent, offensive or threatening letter, electronic communication or other article to another person. Under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 it is a similar offence to send a telephone message which is indecent, offensive or threatening.
Communications Act 2003 - Section 127 states that a person is guilty of an offence if he/she
- sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or
- causes any such message or matter to be so
- A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he/she knows to be false,
- causes such a message to be sent; or
- persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network
Above information courtesy of http://www.respectme.org.uk/Cyberbullying-and-the-law.html#harassment