The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will prosecute web users who impersonate others or use fake online profiles to “harass” them under new guidelines for England and Wales published today.

The CPS advises prosecutors to act when “fake online profiles and websites” are created to “damage and humiliate victims.” The CPS also warns that information could be shared “in such a way that it appears as though the victims themselves made the statements,” adding that this “may amount to an offence, such as grossly offensive communication or harassment.”

The guidelines raise questions for the well-established tradition of social media parody accounts. These are particularly popular on Twitter, where parody accounts of prominent politicians like British Conservative minister Nick Boles and US Presidential candidate Donald Trump are familiar sights. … read more here