Police face backlash over deleted 'seasons greetings' mistletoe rape tweet
The PSNI faced a Twitter backlash and was accused of "trivialising rape" in a tweet warning people of their behaviour over the festive season.
On Saturday evening the force sent out a tweet saying: "If you bump into that special someone under the mistletoe tonight, remember that without consent it is rape."
The tweet was signed off "seasons greetings".
Hundreds reacted with the tweet going viral across the Twittersphere with some accusing the PSNI of being "flippant".
"There's much better ways to put a serious message across than this," said one twitter user in response.
Some were astounded the tweet did not come from a parody account.
We posted a message on Twitter yesterday that some may have taken out of context but the message remains the same; when you are out socialising over the Christmas period, please remember without consent it is rape.— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) December 3, 2017
"If only," responded one user.
Some even questioned if the PSNI knew the exact details of the law around rape.
"The PSNI has a warped view of the world," added another.
The tweet remained on Sunday morning, however, after it was asked for comment the PSNI removed it at around 10.30am.
"We posted a message on Twitter yesterday that some may have taken out of context but the message remains the same; when you are out socialising over the Christmas period, please remember without consent it is rape," said a tweet in response to the backlash.
It's not the first time the police have faced huge criticism over its "without consent its rape" campaign.
In March the Newry and Mourne PSNI account was accused of "victim blaming" over a tweet warning women about the dangers of "overindulging".
It was later removed.