hate crime

Free Speech / Social Media

A Lawyer’s Take on Social Media Misdeeds: Part 2

There are many reasons why you might want content removed from someone else’s website or social media feed. Many complaints involve defamation or intellectual property rights infringement, and can be settled between the parties themselves through litigation. But sometimes the misdeeds perpetuated online can amount to a criminal offense, which may become a police matter. Here are some of the most common criminal acts committed on social media.


Is posting rap lyrics on Instagram a #HateCrime?

A teenager who posted rap lyrics on Instagram has been convicted of “sending a grossly offensive message over a communications network,” which was uplifted to a hate crime. She has received a community order (probation) and must pay costs of £500 ($700 USD) together with a £85 victim surcharge. Chelsea Russell, a 19 year-old woman from Liverpool, England posted the lyrics from American rapper Snap Dogg’s song, “I’m Trippin” (NSFW) onto her Instagram account profile, or “bio.” The lyrics in question were ‘kill a snitch n—-a and rob a rich n—-a.’ Russell claimed she posted the lyrics as a “tribute” following the death…