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Police probe Twitter abuse claims
Police have revealed they are investigating allegations by eight people of abuse on social networking site Twitter.
The Met said its e-crime unit was looking into the claims, three of which are incidents outside London. The move comes after three female journalists said they had been the subject of bomb threats on the site and two received threats of rape.
Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Independent columnist Grace Dent and Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Mayer received the bomb threat tweet, which Dent took a screen grab of and posted for her Twitter followers to see.
The message was also sent to a number of other women, including Sara Lang, a social media manager at US campaign group AARP.
Labour MP Stella Creasy and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully fought for a woman's face to appear on £10 bank-notes, were threatened on Twitter with rape in separate incidents last weekend. Two arrests have already been made in relation to the rape threats.
In a statement, the Met said an investigation into eight allegations had been launched into all the claims.
The force added: "Detectives from the Specialist Organised & Economic Crime Command have taken responsibility for the investigations into a number of allegations recently made to the MPS relating to allegations of malicious communication made on the social networking site Twitter.
"The Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) who hold the police national cyber crime remit, is now investigating allegations made by eight people that they have been subject to harassment, malicious communication or bomb threats.
"Whilst outside PCeU's cyber operational remit, the MPS has taken the decision to centralise the individual investigations, including three that are outside London, to make the most effective use of resources."
The anonymous Twitter accounts from which the bomb threats originated were suspended, although screen grabs were widely circulated online. Twitter has said it plans to make reporting abuse easier, by bringing a "report abuse" function already available on the iPhone app version of the micro-blogging site to other phones and platforms.