Police Scotland Warns Twitter Users: Big Brother Is Watching You

Police Scotland Warns Twitter Users: Big Brother Is Watching You. Police Scotland, which is responsible for policing the whole of Scotland, has taken to Twitter to warn people that they are continuing to “monitor comments on social media”, and that “any offensive comments will be investigated.”

Glasgow Police tweet

As The Spectator says,

Behold, the Tweet that banned the internet. Has it really come to this? Evidently so. It is necessary to laugh at Greater Glasgow Police and you’d be advised to do so while it remains legal to do so too. …

Still, McPlod’s warning asks us to hack our way through some great philosophical thicket. What is a statement – even, heaven forfend, a tweet – is simultaneously hurtful but true? What if seems unkind but also, you know, necessary? Suggesting that McPlod is a hoof******* bungle**** might fulfil each of these criteria. …

Whatever next? The monitoring of conversations in public houses? Why not? Twitter and Facebook, after all, are merely digital, virtual, gathering places. As the wags on social media have put it today, Thur’s been a Tweet and Detective Chief Inspector Taggart is on the case.

UPDATE: This is not the first time that Police Scotland have issued such a warning.

On the 23rd December they tweeted: “Please be aware that we will continue to monitor comments on social media & any offensive comments will be investigated #georgesquare”, with reference to the shocking incident in Glasgow in which an out of control bin lorry killed six Christmas shoppers.

That Tweet too was met with derision. David Jack Smith replied “PLEASE BE AWARE that the British police are monitoring YOU>>@policescotland Just like the North Koreans, Commie Chinese, et al”, whilst RubyMalvolio ‏asked “which law are you enforcing? Didn’t realise being offensive was illegal.”

Indeed it is. On the same day, a 19 year old man in Sunderland was arrested by Northumbria Police on suspicion of making a malicious communication after he tweeted “So a bin lorry has apparently driven in 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash it’s picked up in one day”. The tweet has now been deleted, along with his account. The man has been bailed.

hat-tip Matthew