2018-05-14 10:26:18 UTC
Those who like freedom have already moved away fromthe island.
British Police Arrest At Least 3,395 People for 'Offensive' Online Comments
in One Year
British police forces arrested at least nine people a day for "offensive"
online comments last year.
Figures obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act reveal
that 3,395 people across 29 forces were arrested last under section 127 of
the Communications Act 2003, which makes it illegal to intentionally "cause
annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another", in 2016.
The true figure is likely to be significantly higher, as thirteen police
forces refused to provide the requested information and two did not provide
Around half of the investigations were abandoned before being brought to
prosecution, which critics say is an indication that the authorities are
being excessively strict in their interpretation of the law's restrictions
on freedom of speech.
Nevertheless, many forces have massively stepped up their focus on so-called
trolls, with the number of arrests by West Midlands Police having increased
by an astonishing 877 per cent since 2014.
With Home Secretary Amber Rudd's announcement of a special national police
hub focused on online hate last week, it is expected that these numbers will
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said: "the problem
is 'grossly offensive' is not something you should normally be prosecuted
for. It's not showing harm to other people. It's not showing that somebody
is being . attacked or threatened."
The seeming inconsistency in the enforcement of free speech restrictions has
also been a source of contention, with the Metropolitan Police - who
detained 867 people in 2016, according to the Times figures - appearing
reluctant to investigate people such as Nadia Chan, the self-described
Islamist who was revealed as having made a number of deeply racist remarks
about white people on social media after an appearance on public broadcaster
Chan branded Israeli Jews "parasites" and ranted that white people were
"swine" and "pasty bland bitches [who] have NO culture, no rich history, you
ain't shit, ur ancestors were cave ppl". She also openly endorsed terror
attacks on Iranian state network Press TV - but the Met refused to say
whether they would bring charges against her.
Literally thousands of people urged the Met Contact Centre on Twitter to
investigate Chan, but the force did not appear to offer any public response,
and individuals who contacted the account privately claim they were told the
force would not accept any reports unless the complainants came to a police
station in person.
Similarly, people who reported mixed race transgender model Munroe Bergdorf
for saying "the white race is the most violent and oppressive force of
nature on earth" in a segment produced and aired by the publicly-funded
BBC - an apparent violation of the laws against 'inciting racial hatred' -
were met with official indifference.
The Met seemed to indicate that it was not interested in investigating
Bergdorf in online responses to members of the public, referring them to the
complaints form for broadcast regulator Ofcom instead.