Abusive tweeters who quickly delete their offensive remarks from the micro-blogging site should escape the courts, the Director of Public Prosecutions said today.
Keir Starmer said it was “relevant” for police to take into account how long a tweet had been posted before deciding whether the offender should be prosecuted.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there that is highly offensive... that is quite often taken down pretty quickly and the view is that those sort of remarks don’t necessarily need to be prosecuted,” he told Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan.
Tweets which were libellous, broke court orders or were threatening would face prosecution regardless, he added: “This is not a get-out-of-jail card.”
Figures released in December revealed crimes involving Facebook and Twitter have increased by 780 per cent in the past four years.