Sunday, 28 July 2013


Learning to communicate

Almost exactly a year ago, the High Court published a Judgement that began to clarify the muddy water around what makes a communication menacing on the Internet.

It was a response to a case brought by the DPP who claimed a message posted on Twitter was menacing. The message was one of exasperation, written by a man frustrated that things weren't going the way he wanted.

Of late there's been a lot in the news about messages posted to Twitter. Threatening messages. Messages presumed to be by men frustrated that things weren't going the way they wanted.

Looking at both sets of messages, I'm fascinated by the process of determining whether or not a message is "threatening" from a legal perspective. The Judgement makes compelling reading!

The Internet is still changing our society. The courts are trying to work out how to respond to challenges it presents.

But I think the more important change is the one that no-one's orchestrating: we need to learn how to communicate all over again. Nowadays we all know what's appropriate behaviour on a telephone, but behind a keyboard it's a different story.

Maybe we should start being more generous in how we talk about each other.

Posted by pab at 18:20 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!