The Wiltshire Police force in England is promising to crack down on online trolls. Following widespread mockery, the police made an additional threat to charge anyone who mocked them or corrected the grammatical error in the initial tweet.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Wiltshire Police highlighted the ever-so-important issue of “hate crimes” on the Internet, which involve propagating harmless memes and teaching your pug how to do the Nazi salute as a joke.
“The focus on tonight’s #999WhatsYourEmergency is hate crime – there is NEVER an excuse to spread hate,” tweeted Wiltshire Police. The account only became the subject of mockery after it tweeted out a promise to hunt down trolls who “spew abuse from behind a computer screen.”
Online personalities like Jordan B. Peterson and Rita Panahi weighed in to mock the department.
1. It's *you're* not your.
2. Your obsession with policing speech is repugnant.
3. Delete your account, you diabolical arseclowns. https://t.co/GjpzWt5O4j
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 25, 2017
Great. Illiterate and Orwellian…. https://t.co/1Wq9YaELY0
— Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) July 25, 2017
Unable to take a joke, Wiltshire Police released a statement to claim that they are now in the process of reviewing the tweets they received from the public, to potentially charge them with crimes.
“We will not tolerate any form of abuse or discriminatory remarks made on any of our social media platforms,” the account stated. “We are reviewing the posts and will consider any potential criminal offences which might have been committed. WE will also ban anyone who is posting offensive or abusive material. Hate crime will not be tolerated in any form in our communities or online.”
It is unclear how Wiltshire Police intends to exercise its power to “ban” other Twitter users from the privately-run platform. The only thing clear is that George Orwell is now rolling in his grave.
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter.