In 2017 a British man Mark Meechan posted a video clip of himself training his dog to do a Nazi salute in response to statements such as 'gas the Jews' and 'Sieg Heil.'
Earlier this week, Meechan was convicted of hate crime under the 2003 Communications Act, at Airdrie Sheriff's Court in Scotland.
His conviction for posting a "grossly offensive" video — "anti-Semitic and racist in nature" as determined by the court — caused a heated debate online, with arguments for and against freedom of speech and the right to post jokes online, even if deemed "grossly offensive" by some.
Coming back on Twitter after the verdict. pic.twitter.com/MOyF9mgwlm— Count Dankula🏴 (@CountDankulaTV) March 20, 2018
On the back of the court ruling, Police Scotland posted a message on Twitter, threatening to hunt down anonymous Twitter users.
You may think online you are anonymous, you can create fake profiles and— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 21, 2018
no-one can trace you. That’s wrong! The messages you type and send can be traced back to you.
The same laws apply to online messages, images and videos. What you post now can affect you later in life.
Thousands of comments by social media users poured in, rebuking the Scottish police force for their message.
This is modern day policing. Each and every serving officer should feel ashamed and embarrassed. They no longer police they no longer care. There duty is to suppress free speech and cover up the crimes of the guilty. #NoRespect— Uncle Monty (@PeterPanWho) March 23, 2018
I really dont appreciate the threatening tone of this, please arrest yourselves for offending me.— Hobojebus (@Hobojebus) March 22, 2018
hmm seems you are using 1984 as a manual— StillWaters777 (@stillwaters777) March 22, 2018
Today you completed your Common Purpose training and are now acting in a pre-emptive menacing manner towards concerned members of the wider community. Frankly, I find your approach offensive.— 🇬🇧 Pekoe 🇳🇿 (@pip_gin) March 22, 2018
Personaly i think the so called "police forces" on the great island and in the rest of europe should lay their efforts and our taxmoney to fight rapes of women and children, murders and other real crimes that is a REAL problem instead of hunting people on social media!— Förbannad Bonde🐮🚜🇮🐊+🔪=👢 (@PelleStorberg) March 23, 2018