JK Rowling says she won't delete social media posts that could breach 'ludicrous' Scotland hate crime laws

Scotland’s new hate crime laws have attracted further criticism from Harry Potter author JK Rowling

JK Rowling has said she will not delete social media posts which could breach “ludicrous” hate crime laws.

The Harry Potter author, 58, slammed the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which comes into effect on April 1. It comes after she was embroiled in a misgendering row with transgender broadcaster India Willoughby.

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The controversial legislation will make it an offence to stir up hatred against protected characteristics, including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. However, concerns have been raised over the potential criminalisation of freedom of expression.

Author JK Rowling. Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty ImagesAuthor JK Rowling. Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images
Author JK Rowling. Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Police in Northumbria have cleared Ms Rowling of criminality after she stated “India is cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is”. And now writing on X, the author responded to messages that she should delete the comments prior to the law coming into effect.

But she responded: “If you genuinely imagine I’d delete posts calling a man a man, so as not to be prosecuted under this ludicrous law, stand by for the mother of all April Fools’ jokes.”

Ms Rowling has been highly critical of the new hate crime legislation, arguing the “police are going to be very busy” when it becomes law.

Earlier this month, Northumbria Police said: “On Monday, March 4, we received a complaint about a post on social media. While we recognise the upset this may have caused, the post was reviewed and did not meet the criminal threshold. The complainant has been updated of this.”

At the time, Ms Willoughby said the author had “definitely committed a crime”. She said: “I’m legally a woman. She knows I’m a woman and she calls me a man. It’s a protected characteristic.”

But Ms Rowling has claimed she was advised previously she had a legal case against Willoughby for defamation.

Ms Willougby also took to social media after the police ruling to state she had received an “avalanche of hate and abuse”, including death threats, adding: “I don’t feel safe”.

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Ms Rowling said she had also received a significant amount of “murder and torture” threats. The author has also been a fierce critic of the Scottish Government’s gender reform plans, arguing the proposals would have infringed on women’s safety.



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