social mediaDid you know that Scotland Yard is monitoring comments made on social media?
Its sounds quite shocking, but around 20 people a day are investigated for remarks that might cause offence or aggravation. What’s perhaps worse is that other social media users are reporting offenders! Whatever next Gulags?

A Scotland Yard spokesperson admitted this week that law enforcement agencies are monitoring comments made on social media accounts and will take criminal action where appropriate.

A statement by the Police department said: “Please be aware that we will continue to monitor comments on social media and any offensive comments will be investigated.”

The social crime

If you read comments on noticeboards they are usually derogative and insulting. When Katie Hopkins used her Twitter account to aggressively poke fun at “the sweaty Glaswegian” nurse who contracted Ebola, social media activists reported her to the police and suggested they pursue criminal proceedings against her.

Katie Hopkins is no stranger to hurtful remarks and attracted media attention for making insulting remarks about her fellow contestants on The Apprentice. Her harsh comments about an Ebola victim are certainly unkind and uncalled for, but surely is not a criminal offence.

Hopkins will not win any fans by attacking other people surely? Yet what if she does? Will marketers get the idea to backstab their competitors whenever they make fun of them?

Mind your mouth

It’s not good practice to be offensive to people online anyway, but social media marketers should also be careful of political statements.

In the US, a Missouri state senator has been attacked by protestors after she posted comments regarding the shooting of Michael Brown in the Ferguson fiasco.

State senator, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a black woman, tweeted: “When you exercise your #WhitePrivilege, don’t think I’m not going to remember. I will use it for the future. Uncomfortable?”

Given the number of times white police officers have escaped punishment against black people (Fruitvale Station, Let The Fire Burn, Rodney King), you can hardly blame the black community do not feel justice has been served in the Ferguson case.

But the white people of America were offended by her comments and said they would never vote for her. One comment read: “You just burned your future.”

The moral of this story is to be careful what thoughts you put out on social media – and if you contract a social media company, make sure they are fully on-board with your company values and keep an eye on the type of content and comments they are posting on your social media accounts.