There is a problem with Twitter.
It seems the social media platform simply will not co-operate with police investigations.
That’s what Labour MP David Lammy found out when he contacted Twitter for the identity of a racist who sent him a death threat.
According to the BBC:
A [Metropolitan Police] spokesman said: “All lines of inquiry were explored as far as possible, however, due to the owner of the suspected social media account living outside the UK and the fact we were unable to obtain the subscription details of the individual from Twitter, we were unable to continue the investigation.”
A Twitter spokesperson later said it was co-operating with police “having now received and processed the correct information”.
The change happened after Lammy sent tweets to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, demanding to know why he was “shielding vile racists”.
Twitter has a bad reputation for refusing to co-operate with investigations.
Rachel Riley’s case against me is entirely based on events on Twitter – and some of the evidence is now missing because the people who published it have since deleted it.
I have been advised that it is impossible to get Twitter to provide information about the missing Tweets – what they said and who published them – because the platform simply won’t co-operate.
Even a court order – costing many thousands of pounds to obtain – is likely to be ignored.
And I’m not David Lammy; I can’t just tweet Jack Dorsey and demand help.
Still, there remain possibilities to explore and I intend to do so, at whatever expense is necessary.
If you think Twitter should divulge its secrets in the interests of justice, please help in the established ways:
Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.
Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.
Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.
On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.
Social media giants like Twitter – and Facebook – seem to think they can be indifferent to national laws.
Let’s change that.