Updated: Sunday, 17th February 2019 @ 6:14am

Greater Manchester Police branded 'ignorant' in Twitter backlash over cyber-bullying tweet

Greater Manchester Police branded 'ignorant' in Twitter backlash over cyber-bullying tweet

Exclusive by Jack Poland

Greater Manchester Police have caused outrage on Twitter after appearing to make light of cyber bullying.

GMP Salford Central posted the 'ignorant' tweet yesterday, and received nearly 2,000 re-tweets by mid-afternoon. 

The tweet, which has since been deleted, read: "POLICE NOTICE. If you are being 'Harassed' on facebook please follow these instructions: 1. Close your facebook account."

The offending tweet left many, including comedian Al Murray, bemused and angry for its flippancy.

"That @GMPSalfordCen tweet about Facebook sums it all up perfectly. Genius," wrote Murray.

The Pub Landlord comedian went on to retweet just one of the many angry responses that spread across Twitter on Thursday night.

"If you are mugged in the street please follow these instructions:  1. Stay at home ... what idiotic victim blaming!" wrote Hullablue on the microblogging site.

Other users labelled Salford police 'ignorant' for their insensitive handling of such a delicate issue.

"Kids! Are you being bullied on Facebook? Salford Police have an astonishingly blasé, ignorant msg 4 u," wrote Radio Times critic Jack Seale.

"@GMPSalfordCen please delete that tweet. That’s terrible advice and still circulating. Honestly," wrote another user.

Others were left bemused by the tweet, such was its unprofessional nature.

"Holy... I thought that was a spoof account! Wow," tweeted Empire film magazine News Editor Chris Hewitt.

"Wow, I really thought that was a tweet from a spoof account. It was real?" wrote one bewildered Twitter user.

GMP have deleted the offending tweet and have released a statement in response to the backlash.

“The officers who posted this have been spoken to and advised and as soon as we were made aware the correct advice regarding online safety and cyber bullying was put on the social media accounts,” the statement said.

“GMP takes all reports of online bullying and harassment extremely seriously and all such matters are thoroughly investigated.”

The deluge of anger directed at the account also forced GMP Salford Central into issuing an apology and providing a reconsidered instruction.

"Apologies for our earlier tweet. Bullying and harassment is, of course, serious," read the apologetic tweet.

The GMP account then provided a link to their site for anyone affected by online bullying which you can find here.

Image courtesy of Nicky Coleman via Flickr, with thanks.

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