Sturgeon Warns Yes Supporters About Online Abuse

19 October 2015, 11:01 | Updated: 19 October 2015, 12:48

Nicola Sturgeon has warned independence supporters not to "hurl abuse'' online at those who disagree with their views.

The SNP leader and Scottish First Minister spoke out on Twitter after Scotland's last minute defeat to Australia in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup.

The intervention followed abuse directed at Harry Potter author JK Rowling after she tweeted her support for the Scottish team.

Ms Sturgeon posted: "Note to my fellow independence supporters. People who disagree are not anti Scottish. Does our cause no good to hurl abuse (& it's wrong).''

Ms Rowling was a high-profile supporter of the Better Together campaign during last year's referendum on Scottish independence.

In one Twitter exchange, the pro-independence political blogger Wings Over Scotland questioned her right to support the team, writing: "You don't think we're a nation at all.''

The comment, which was also directed at Scottish writer Muriel Gray, attracted much opprobrium on Twitter, including from those who backed Yes in September's vote.

In June, Ms Sturgeon warned so-called "cybernats'' who are members of the SNP that they could be disciplined by the party.

Writing in the Daily Mail, she said it was ''not acceptable'' for people to use social media to ''threaten violence, or hurl vile abuse, or seek to silence the voice of others through intimidation''.