The British police forces have called upon social networks run by Twitter, Facebook and Google to take down pictures of the convicted murderer Jon Venables, who’s current image has been circulating online for the past couple of weeks.
The order for the deletion came from attorney general Dominic Grieve who also announced that anyone found to have posted the photo on their account would be liable for legal action – as in many cases now social network users are being treated in the same manner as members of the press with regards to legality of information and media reveals.
Twitter has responded so far, suggesting that while it will comply with law enforcement, trawling through its billions of tweets is not something it intends to do:
“We work with law enforcement here in the UK,” began the statement by Twitter’s director of public policy in Europe, Sinead McSweeney. “We have established points of contact with law enforcement in the UK where they communicate with us about content, they bring content to our attention that is illegal, and appropriate steps are taken by the company. You may read into those words what you wish in context of the current [issue].”
She added that Twitter could not be expected to monitor its hundreds of millions of users for instances of the photo appearing.
KitGuru Says: While I understand the attorney general’s position somewhat, threatening users is a very silly idea, especially around such an emotionally charged issue. He’s just asking for people to post it to spite his demands.