UK Seeing Average Of 3 Social Media-Based Arrests Per Day

If you’ve ever had a fight on Twitter (which we recommend you never, ever do), you know how tempting it can be to throw your hands up from your keyboard and take things offline. Maybe not in a “let’s take this outside”-type way, but more of a “I’m telling!”-type way.

Police in the UK are dealing with a whole country full of social media tattletales, it seems, and have been making, on average, three arrests per day based on complaints about social media abuse.

The Mail reports that at least three arrests are made per day “…for sending offensive messages via phones and computers, including people harassing ex-partners by text message and making hoax threats as well as comments on social media.”

Of course, this three per day number is only the number of arrests – the number of complaints that don’t lead to arrests is certainly much higher.

Many of these complaints are pretty childish – like the woman who ran to police because she was receiving death threats, only to be revealed to have been harassing another woman herself.

From The Mail:

“An officer from North Wales said: ‘You will always have one or two serious incidents of harassment and bullying on Facebook and the like but for the most part it’s petty stuff. It takes up a lot of time and the normal result is advice from us to all parties to grow up.”

There are many serious crimes that can be committed via Twitter and Facebook, not the least of which is cyberbullying, an epidemic that is being addressed by the legal system.

But much of the legal system is being clogged by complaints about gossip, fake accounts, and petty squabbles. There is a fine line between harassment and non-threatening – albeit annoying – spats on social media that law enforcement appears to have not reconciled yet.

(Arrested image via Shutterstock)