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1 York L. Rev. 83 (2020)
Harmful Comments on Social Media

handle is hein.journals/yorklr1 and id is 89 raw text is: 








      Harmful comments on social media


                         Kathryn   Chick


      Abstract
      Social  media has  become  a breeding  ground for  malicious,
      abusive, and offensive communications. These comments  when
      posted online can contribute to or cause, inter alia, depression,
      anxiety, and isolation. However, where  communications  have
      caused  harm to others, the restrictive guidelines issued by the
      Crown  Prosecution Service can make it difficult to engage the law
      and  prosecute the communicator. The justifications for the high
      threshold set are largely associated with protecting the right to
      freedom  of  expression. This article critically analyses these
      guidelines, arguing that too much protection is afforded to freedom
      of  expression at the cost of many  harmful comments   going
      unchallenged. It is argued that harmful speech posted online
      should not warrant the same protections as other forms of speech
      such as political and intellectual speech. Although not all online
      comments  result in harm, and while there are non-legal means to
      deal with unpleasant comments,  it should be easier for those
      genuinely harmed to take legal action if necessary.


  1   Introduction

Social media  is considered to be one of the greatest revolutions since
television and is often praised for the benefits it has brought to society
and  to individual  users.' Its popularity stems  from  the  'sense of
membership,   commitment   and reciprocity'2 that it offers, as well as its

1 Gavin Sutter, 'Nothing New Under the Sun: Old Fears and New Media' (2000) 8
International Journal of Law and Information Technology 338.
2 Tony Fitzpatrick, 'Critical Cyberpolicy: Network Technologies, Massless Citizens,
Virtual Rights' (2000) 20(3) Critical Social Policy 375, 382.

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