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What is Sectarianism?

What is Sectarianism on Social Media Websites?

Chances are that you’re a regular user of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter – as most people are these days. These sites are a great way to keep in touch with friends, talk about your interests, keep up with sports news, share pictures and see what others are up to. However, there are risks and people have found themselves in serious trouble for posting offensive or sectarian content online - in some circumstances even receiving jail sentences.

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Really? What is likely to get you in trouble?

An online post that targets a group or individual because of their:

  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • nationality
  • ethnicity
  • disability

You are especially likely to get into trouble if you send a message that includes a threat of violence.

Showing support for terrorist or para-military groups who have committed acts of terrorism can also lead to serious legal action.

If you retweet, or share an offensive or sectarian Facebook status, that’s as serious as you saying it yourself.

Depending on what you post, how often, and other factors, you could receive a fine, anything up to a five year jail sentence and of course a criminal record. You have to disclose this to potential employers and it could prevent you from getting certain jobs.

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