Technology

Twitter Inc To Teach U.K. Prosecutors To Fight Online Abuse

Twitter will now train prosecutors in England and Wales to fight against online abuse. Twitter is increasingly becoming a platform used for abuse against women, and thus, the micro-blogging site will train the police to curb it.

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Twitter to better equip CPS to fight online abuse

Twitter, which has 305 million monthly active users, will help the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) overpower criminal activity such as posting explicit pictures on the Internet (an offense under the new revenge pornography laws) and stalking of victims using spyware and GPS, says The Guardian.

Twitter’s experts will train prosecutors and update their skills and knowledge of the Internet, Jenny Hopkins, chief crown prosecutor and the CPS lead on violence against women, told The Guardian. “Social media is increasingly being used as a tool against women and I think it is really positive that Twitter is going to be training our lawyers in the months ahead,” Hopkins said.

To keep U.K. citizens safe, Twitter will provide CPS better knowledge of social media and the growing development of digital communication platform, said Nick Pickles, Twitter’s head of U.K. public policy.

Rising abuse on social media

According to police and prosecutors, social media is being increasingly used for crime against women, including rape, blackmail, harassment and sexual violence. Jason Lawrance, 50, is on a lengthy jail sentence after he was found guilty of raping five women he met on dating website Match.com. Such cases take root through the Internet, and this is worrying prosecutors.

New guidelines are being published by the CPS on prosecuting new and emerging social media crimes. The use of multiple fake profiles on social media by an individual could be, depending on the context, a criminal offense, said Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions. When examining evidence, prosecutors should check the person’s behavior both online and offline, Saunders said.

“Offenders can mistakenly think that, by using false online profiles and creating websites under a false name, their offenses are untraceable. Thankfully, this is not the case and an online footprint will be left by the offender,” Saunders said.

For a long time, Twitter has been making efforts to curb other forms of abuse on its platform. Last year, Dick Costolo, who was Twitter’s CEO that time, admitted that Twitter “sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls.” But now the micro-blogging site appears to be digging in to fight abuse.