Police Scotland mocked over Twitter advice

Police Scotland has been mocked on Twitter over its attempts to warn social media users about the importance of "safe internet use".

A tweet sent by the force's Greater Glasgow division on Friday warned: "Think before you post or you may receive a visit from us this weekend".

It also urged social media users to consider whether a post was "true, hurtful, illegal, necessary or kind" before they sent it.

The tweet was one of a series sent out by officers warning about everything from the importance of keeping valuables hidden in public to the potential dangers of riding bikes in slippery conditions.

The internet safety warning has been been retweeted more than 200 times - but the response from many of those who saw it may not have been quite what the force had in mind.

Some people questioned whether Police Scotland was suggesting that people could now be arrested for posting things that are "unnecessary or untrue or unkind or hurtful".

Others asked for clarification on what constituted an "unnecessary" social media post.

And some questioned whether monitoring social media was the best use of police resources.

In a blog post on the Spectator website, the magazine's Scotland editor Alex Massie, asked: "Whatever next? The monitoring of conversations in public houses? Why not? Twitter and Facebook, after all, are merely digital, virtual, gathering places."

And he said the police tweet raised important questions about the value placed on freedom of speech in Britain.

But some Twitter users were supportive of the police, and said the force was only warning about "illegal" activity online.