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to think that the Malicious Communications act is well defined, but....

(12 Posts)
TulisaLover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:12:57

....massively easy to fall foul off.

I posted a link to it in one of the poppy threads, and this is a modified version of that post.

The mailcious comms act is defined here: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/section/1

It's pretty clear - and it's pretty much been the case since 1988.

Any person who sends to another person—
(a)a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys

(i)a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;
(ii)a threat; or
(iii)information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender; or

(b) any article or electronic communication which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature, is guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should, so far as falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated.

Now - we can argue about individual cases - I'd say he falls under that - because what he did is by any right thinking person, grossly offensive - and was a malicious act.

However, I think the more interesting aspect is that there are massive grey areas - some very sarcastic posts can easily be interpreted as grossly offensive when someone else doesn't get the joke. Also 'Information which is false' - who defines it's truth? I could say something like 'savers are being pillaged by QE - and the BOE are absolute bastards' (let me make clear, I'm not saying that - it's an example of a statement) and if the government disagree, they can prosecute.

And I believe that the common understanding of the person on the street is that we live in a country where we have 'free speech' - that clearly (under law) has been open to interpretation for a while.....

What is to be done?

TulisaLover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:14:46

sorry - proper link

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/section/1

nailak Mon 12-Nov-12 22:15:30

I think the interesting thing is other things which are grossly offensive, or cause anxiety and distress are not punished.

TulisaLover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:16:17

Yes nailak - that's absolutely true. The builders bum for instance.

ImperialStateKnickers Mon 12-Nov-12 22:53:13

This is actually quite a big thing to think about, and I'm not up for it tonight.
<wanders back to the other thread...>

TulisaLover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:55:20

Perhaps this is the influential and middle class problem that the poster was looking for though imperial grin

Marking my place, I'll be back in the morning smile

nailak Mon 12-Nov-12 23:29:45

I was thinking more along the lines of cyber bullying, trolling on tribute sites, rape porn, stuff that is grossly offensive to members of certain faiths etc......

TulisaLover Mon 12-Nov-12 23:32:14

Yes all that too. But unwanted arse cleavage primarily.

Cambridgerock Thu 15-Nov-12 12:15:06

Would appreciate people's thoughts on this as I have indeed fallen foul of the malicious communications act and have been charged for posting to youtube a video of my wife (who I am divorcing) assaulting me. I did this because I was frustrated that neither the police nor the family courts cared about the abuse I suffered and I wanted a wider opinion. It seems perverse that I am now in more trouble for exposing my wife's bad behaviour than she got into for behaving badly. What do you all think about this? If somebody behaves badly should it be possible to expose them on the net or should they be able to claim that it is offensive to them to have their bad behaviour exposed? thanks

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:18:28

hmmmmmm really Cambridge..

And what, in that case, did you think it would achieve by you doing that?

Cambridgerock Fri 16-Nov-12 10:16:45

I was desperate. A judge had seen the video and determined that I had provoked her into the attack. It was an outrageous ruling that no reasonable person would make. I wanted to publicise the video to see what others thought to help me with my appeal against the judge's ruling (grounds for appeal are that a reasonable - typical - person would not make the ruling that the judge made). I hope you can understand what it can be like for a man who is being abused - it is very hard to be believed as the standing assumption is that domestic abuse means a man assaulting a woman.

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