Much has been made of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer’s new guidelines on social networking prosecutions and how this will affect individual tweeters, tweeting on various subjects. Some things have been classified, with others being left to subjective tests, such as what is to be considered grossly offensive, how many followers are considered substantial followers etc.
A clear distinction needs to be drawn here about the clarification that these guidelines provide. Let me just make one point very clear: these guidelines will not help all the business owners out there who are currently falling victim to online tweets, blogs and Facebook posts from anonymous individuals criticising your businesses. Reporting this to the Police, even with the new social media guidelines, will not mean that CID will come swooping into your office, identifying the individual and arresting them. This will not happen!
For this kind of remedy you have to look to the civil law, not the criminal law to help you. Yes, I agree, someone claiming wrongly that your business is corrupt and that you are a fraudster is offensive and hurtful. But neither the criminal law, nor any amount of guidelines from the Director of Public Prosecutions on social media will help you. The police will not use their powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to uncover the identity of the offending individuals. You need to take action of your own to stop such offensive material from permeating over the world-wide-web and overrunning your company’s, and your own hard earned reputation.
This is what we at Pinder Reaux specialise in, the uncovering and suing of those individuals who seek to use the internet as an anonymous shield behind which they harm your reputation. We can, as we have done many times in the past, uncovered these individuals and brought them to justice and by doing so we have recovered the reputations of many clients, whose business careers and reputations would have come crumbling down, almost overnight.
As a business owner, do not be fooled in to thinking that Mr Starmer’s guidelines, will help you protect your business reputation, because they won’t, but we at Pinder Reaux can and will.
Head of Internet and Media Law