Social Media

Twitter to educate UK prosecutors on how to combat online abuse against victims

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

March 3, 2016 | 3 min read

Prosecutors in England and Wales will receive training from Twitter around how to deal with abusive comments posted online in a bid to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The social giant will help the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confront issues like revenge porn, as well as online stalking and harrasment.

The move comes as courts say criminals are more commonly using social media as a means to faciliatate such offenses, with CPS chief crown prosecutor, Jenny Hopkins, telling the Guardian “social media is increasingly being used as a tool against women".

"I think it is really positive that Twitter is going to be training our lawyers in the months ahead,” she added.

Last year, the number of revenge porn cases recorded in Britain had risen to the highest ever level with 175 complaints reported to forces across England and Wales in the second half of 2015.

Speaking to The Drum, Nick Pickles who heads up public policy for Twitter in the UK said: "By working with the CPS to give prosecutors an in-depth understanding of Twitter, we hope that the evolution of the legal framework put in place to protect UK citizens better captures the rapid development of digital communications platforms, and where necessary, online as well as offline behaviour."

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Twitter has been upping the ante in the war against abusive posts and hate speech over the past few months following criticism over the way it was tackling the issue.

It recently introduced a 'Trust and Safety' council in partnership with a number of charities to protect users from online threats.

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