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Yeah, but I’m under 16 – nothing can happen to me… can it?

Yes, the law is the same for everyone.

If you are under 16 you can still get in serious trouble.  You can be prosecuted, end up in front of a childrens panel and have social work involved with you and your family.  All this plus a criminal record.

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"But, it’s just the internet! What I say on it doesn’t matter, and besides, I’m just having a laugh with my mates!"

This isn’t the case – what you put on social media sites does matter and has real consequences. When it comes to sectarianism, if you wouldn’t say it out loud to a group of strangers, don’t post it online.

You might consider what you have written is a bit of a laugh, general banter or a political statement – but the police, and a judge, may not agree.

Even if you use privacy settings, you can never be sure how many people see what you’ve posted online.


Ok, so who else can see what I’ve posted!?

So, there’s your family and friends – you know that already. But, employers and potential employers often check people’s social media pages.

If people share or retweet your post, then more and more people are likely to see it.

They could report you to the police – all they need to do is take a ‘screen-grab’ and contact the police.

How are people caught? And what happens to them?

You might think the police are ‘watching’ the internet all the time and that’s how people are caught.

However, that’s not usually the case – most people are caught as a result of a tip off from a member of the public – similar to any other committed crime.

And, it could be someone you have never met before or someone living in another town miles away.

The police will investigate reports and can easily locate the offender, who can then be charged under a range of legislation:

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If you’re interested!

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