Target: David Cameron, United Kingdom Prime Minister
Goal: End imprisonment and arrests of social media users who posted offensive content.
Social media users in London are increasingly being arrested and prosecuted for making offensive posts, according to a recent report. Arrests made for “online crimes of speech” have surged recently, and this troubling trend represents a threat to the essential concept of free speech.
These arrests are made possible through Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, which vaguely outlines unlawful social media use as “using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.” This definition is dangerously broad and lacks the precision necessary to adequately justify the incarceration of those who have been found guilty.
The most common offense for which individuals have been jailed is the “sending messages intended to offend or menace,” with a majority of arrests stemming from racially charged statements.
While racism, misogyny, and other forms of intolerance are deplorable, a government should not have the right to lock up its citizens simply because their social media posts are deemed offensive. Freedom of speech is essential for democracy, and these arrests must stop. Urge the government to put an end to this situation.
Dear Mr. Cameron,
I am writing to bring your attention to a recent surge of arrests of social media users in London. These individuals have been incarcerated for using Twitter, Facebook, and other sites to post or share content that is deemed to “cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.”
While the content of these messages may be racist, sexist, or worse, a government should not have the right to imprison citizens for sharing an opinion, no matter how offensive that opinion may be. Freedom of speech gives every citizen a voice, and I urge you to respect this idea and end these arrests.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: LoboStudioHamburg