Top UK prosecutor warns too many Twitter cases could 'threaten freedom of speech'
London, Feb 4 : Freedom of speech will be under threat if too many people are taken to court over offensive messages published on social networking sites like Twitter, a top British prosecutor has said.
Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said too many investigations into comments on networks such as Twitter would have a "chilling effect" on free speech.
He also pointed out that anyone who posted an offensive message but then quickly removed it could escape prosecution.
Starmer said it was "relevant" for police to consider how quickly a tweet had been deleted before deciding on action, the Telegraph reports.
According to the paper, last year, Starmer said people who posted offensive messages when drunk and then took them down as soon as they were sober should avoid prosecution.
But now he stressed Twitter was not a place where people could "say what they like" without thinking of consequences.