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Twitter is safer in America? Lessons from the Elmo and BBC sex scandals…
Two men confronted unproven sexual accusations that may ruin their reputations. The incidents, which took place on different sides of the Atlantic, raise questions about how the law should respond when social media wrongly labels someone a paedophile. They also showed why free speech laws are better in America.

In case you missed it, the first incident involved a BBC television show that claimed an unnamed former UK politician abused boys. Soon after, people on Twitter used “jigsaw identification” to conclude that the person is question was Lord McAlpine, and some of their conclusions were retweeted 100,000 times. The BBC soon acknowledged the report was false and apologized to Lord McAlpine who said the public hatred he endured was “terrifying.”

Gigaom

Two recent incidents raise questions about how the law should respond when social media wrongly labels someone a paedophile. The incidents, which took place on different sides of the Atlantic, also showed why free speech laws are better in America.

In case you missed it, the first incident involved a BBC television show that claimed an unnamed former UK politician abused boys. Soon after, people on Twitter used “jigsaw identification” to conclude that the person is question was Lord McAlpine, and some of their conclusions were retweeted 100,000 times. The BBC soon acknowledged the report was false and apologized to Lord McAlpine who said the public hatred he endured was “terrifying.”

Meanwhile, in New York, a man accused Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash of carrying on an affair with him when he was a minor. Even though the allegation were unproved, Twitter immediately lit up with tasteless jokes linking to…

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