Gregory Alan Elliott was cleared of two charges of criminal harassment that stemmed from his Twitter interactions with two Toronto women who believe transwomen are women.
Stephanie Guthrie and Heather Reilly accused Elliott of harassment partly based on his use of hashtags — a word, acronym or phrase after a number symbol used to create trackable conversations — they used. It was an assertion the judge found contrary to the open nature of Twitter. He said the pair may have felt harassed, but he couldn’t prove Elliott knew they felt that way, nor did the content of his tweets include explicitly threatening language.
The judge also noted a lack of “reasonableness” in Guthrie’s assertion she could expect to use Twitter to make negative comments about Elliott and not be exposed to his response or self defence.
This is a victory for freedom of expression. For the record, we think every person involved in this case is not worth following on social media.