Be careful what you tweet.
All too often, people incite hatred and spout nonsense from behind a computer or smartphone screen, without realising that they can be held accountable for every word they write.
This is the case for Croydon’s Matthew Doyle, partner at a south London-based talent & PR agency, who took to Twitter following the Brussels attacks and wrote:
“I confronted a Muslim woman in Croydon yesterday. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply.”
The tweet was, unsurprisingly received with shock and dismay by Twitter users who labelled it “ridiculous”.
However, this was not the worst Matthew had to worry about, as the Scotland Yard have confirmed that he has now been arrested “on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media.”
Speaking to The Telegraph, Matthew explained that the 140-character word limit had taken the “confrontation” out of context.
“What everyone’s got wrong about this is I didn’t confront the woman.
“I just said: ‘Excuse me, can I ask what you thought about the incident in Brussels?'”
“She was white, and British, wearing a hijab – and she told me it was nothing to do with her.
“I said ‘thank you for explaining that’ – and her little boy said goodbye to me as we went our separate ways.”
“I’m not some far-right merchant, I’m not a mouthpiece for any kind of racism or radicalism.
“If I was xenophobic I wouldn’t live in London.
“I have a Muslim neighbour who got burgled, and I was one of the first people to go around to help.”