So Welsh Premier League footballer Daniel Thomas’ homophobic comments on Twitter regarding Olympic diver Tom Daley, and his event partner Pete Waterfield, will not lead to a prosecution. As decided by the Crown Prosecution Service, and the two sporting chaps on the receiving end of said statement.
The news isn’t that surprising really, as per the official response, the message posted was “not so grossly offensive charges need to be brought“, instead it was a “one off offensive Twitter message, intended for family and friends, which made its way into the public domain.” All valid points, though the situation raises several key issues.
According to the QC involved in this case, Keir Starmer, new guidelines are now required to give people a better understanding of what is, and isn’t acceptable on social media; software that straddles the realms of both public and private life. We’d have to say this makes a lot of sense. Recent times have seen an exponential increase in the number of legal problems users have experienced as a result of posts that could be deemed as slander, or because they have publicised messages that appear to be their own, but are actually affiliated with sponsors.
So what do you think needs to happen? Are networks like Twitter and Facebook calling out for more legal regulation as to what can and can’t be said? Should social media be a platform for free speech, regardless of meaning, so long as the statements issued aren’t inciting hatred and violence? Should Daniel Thomas have been made an example of? Answers on a postcard, or the comments form below please.