PARIS — The Internet, it is sometimes said, turns every citizen into a journalist. If that is the case, some Twitter users in Britain are discovering one of the downsides of the business.

As many as 10,000 Twitter users reportedly face the threat of legal action because of comments posted on the Internet or forwarded to others in which they referred to a BBC report wrongly linking a former Conservative Party official to the sexual abuse of a child. The official, Alistair McAlpine, was not named in the Nov. 2 BBC report, but enough clues were provided that Twitter users were able to identify him — which they did, in great numbers.

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