Not got a lot of Twitter followers? You could escape prosecution for ‘grossly offensive’ tweets

Those who post ‘grossly offensive’ comments of Twitter could escape prosecution if they only have a few hundred followers, the director of public prosecutions has suggested.

Keir Starmer has said that it could be appropriate to only prosecute someone if their tweet has a large reach, while those whose tweet might only be seen by a few dozen others might go unpunished.

He suggested that intent and impact would also play a role in suggesting what could be counted as grossly offensive.

Starmer is involved in developing new guidelines, having said that previously things have been decided on a case by case basis, but there were so many cases that this is no longer possible.

An example was given of Daniel Tomas, a 17-year-old from Dorset who was arrested for in July for abusing Tom Daley on Twitter, and was not charged because he only had a few hundred followers.

Starmer said: “I’m not an advocate of this position, I’m a prosecutor who recognises the sovereignty of Parliament.

“We should try and make the law work before we call for amendment or repeal.

"All I can do is issue guidelines about the direction we will take. We’ve got to find a way through which is acceptable to the majority of law-abiding citizens."

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