Interesting... The U.S. does have similar laws, but it's unclear how well
they're enforced. And of course, each state has different statutes.
On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 7:00 AM, <gendergap-request(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:46:29 +0000
From: Marie Earley <eiryel(a)hotmail.com>
To: Gender Gap <gendergap(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Gendergap] press coverage of Gamergate arbcom case
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
There is something I thought I should mention as a UK member of this list.
Hate speech (including online) is illegal in the UK.
When the Bank of England announced that Elizabeth Fry would be dropped
from the new £5 notes and replaced with Winston Churchill, it meant that
there would be no women on sterling bank notes (apart from the Queen).
Caroline Criado-Perez successfully campaigned for Jane Austin to be added
to £10 notes and received threats of rape and death.
That instigated an online campaign which resulted in Twitter adding its
Isabella Sorley, 23, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, tweets included: "die you
worthless piece of crap", "go kill yourself" and, "I've only just
of prison and would happily do more time to see you berried!!"
John Nimmo, 25, of South Shields, made references to rape and added: "I
will find you (smiley face)".
Sorley was sentenced to 12 weeks
in prison, and Nimmo was jailed for 8
The law they broke was Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003
If UK-based Wikipedian 'X' breaches s.127 of the Comms. Act due to
something they said on Wikipedia about UK-based Wikipedian 'Y' then they
face criminal prosecution and possibly jail.
The litmus test is whether what they have said is not only 'offensive'
but, 'grossly offensive'. Wikipedia's internal systems and thresholds would
make no difference to the authorities in the UK. It would be interesting to
see what the public fall-out would be if Wikipedia decided that no action
should be taken against X whilst the UK jailed him / her.