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Lawyer claims Twitter in breach of Equalities Act in abuse row as police move in

By Steven Raeburn | N/A

July 30, 2013 | 4 min read

Caroline Criado-Perez, the woman at the centre of the escalating Twitter abuse row, has said this morning that she has been contacted by a lawyer, who has advised her that Twitter is in breach of the UK’s equalities legislation over its stance on the issue.

Criado-Perez made another visit to the police this morning to report further issues of abuse, including rape threats made against her.

Caroline Criado-Perez

The police have so far made one arrest and charged a 21 year old man in connection with the abuse. Criado-Perez said she was receiving 50 rape threats an hour at the height of the storm, and is still battling online trolls via her Twitter account on a daily basis.

She said this morning that in addition to the criminal law breaches, Twitter may also be liable in civil law to equalities act claims.

“Just been contacted by a solicitor who tells me that by not acting on harassment, Twitter is in breach of s112 of the Equality Act,” she said this morning.

Section 112 states that a person “must not knowingly help another to do anything which contravenes” the equality provisions in the Act.

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Twitter has posted a lengthy blog response outlining its stance on the incidents, entitled “We hear you.”

The threats against Criado-Perez and fellow campaigner, Labour MP Stella Creasy have escalated, with specific death threats and sexual violence emanating from new accounts such as @killcreasynow, which has since been suspended.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Officers in Waltham Forest received an allegation of malicious communications from an MP. The allegation relates to comments made on Twitter and is currently under consideration."

Andy Trotter, chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers communications advisory group said Twitter had more work to do in combating online threats.

He warned that combating what is fast evolving into a new branch of criminal law could "cause great difficulty for a hard-pressed police service".

Last night Twitter released a blog post outlining its issues in monitoring the scale of tweets sent on a daily basis and claiming that it did listen and respond to complaints over Tweets that violated its user guidelines.

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