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Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Tweeters 'should think twice'

New guidelines are out today on how people who post offensive messages on social media should be dealt with.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer, is setting out new rules which will raise the threshold for a prosecution.

It follows criticism of how police and prosecutors have handled cases in recent months, including the conviction of a man for joking on Twitter that he would blow up an airport - a conviction which was eventually quashed this year.

Mr Starmer told Today presenter Sarah Montague that "we have got to get the balance right of protecting the individual on one hand, and protecting the individual on the other."

He went on to warn that people "have got to be really careful" about what they say on social media.

"If you are thinking of tweeting the name of someone caught in criminal proceedings, you better think twice."

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