The Crown Prosecution Service has published advice on what the peons may say: “Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media”
Paras 34, 40-41 and 44-45 get to the point, as does para 35, which says that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights takes precedence:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers …“
Para 40 states that “prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:
- Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
- Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
- The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.”
In short, it seems that only a specific threat to a person is verboten. Old Holborn has more.