28 October 2013
The Economic Development Department has commissioned new research into Islanders’ online experiences.
The research includes an online survey that will ask Jersey residents for their experiences of social media and their current level of concern around malicious, grossly offensive or threatening communications, including cyber-bullying.
The Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, said “The research will help to inform States of Jersey policies on electronic communications and, in particular, the use of social media. Cyber-bullying and offensive or threatening communications have been a concern both nationally and locally and we are keen to hear Islanders’ views about the issues raised.”
Under existing Jersey law it may not always be possible to address behaviour such as sending grossly offensive, malicious or threatening electronic communications via social media.
In England and Wales, such conduct is covered by the combined effect of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Communications Act 2003.
The research will form part of a public consultation being undertaken by Economic Development that will consider potential amendments to the Electronic Communications (Jersey) Law, working closely with the Home Affairs Department.
Senator Maclean said “The States of Jersey is aware that legislating in this area is complex and potentially sensitive. We need to make sure that our future laws strike an appropriate balance between protecting Jersey citizens and ensuring freedom of expression, while being mindful of delivering these changes in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.”