JK Rowling has hit out at Humza Yousaf after he labelled social media posts she sent on the day the Hate Crime Act came into effect “offensive” and “insulting”.

The First Minister told the BBC that the Harry Potter author had not broken the law, although her posts on Twitter/X had been “offensive, upsetting and insulting to trans people”.

On April 1, the day the Hate Crime Act came into effect, Rowling posted a series of tweets in which she labelled trans women as men and dared Police Scotland to arrest her.

The act had made it an offence to stir up hatred against protected characteristics, including race, age, disability, and gender identity.

READ MORE: Here's why the Hate Crime Act ISN'T the same as the law in England

Rowling’s posts were reported to the police, but the force deemed that no criminality had taken place and further said they would not record a “non-crime hate incident” against her name.

Asked about Rowling's comments, Yousaf told the BBC: "Those new offences that have been created by the act have a very high threshold for criminality.

“The behaviour has to be threatening or abusive and intend to stir up hatred. So it doesn't deal with people just being offended or upset or insulted."

The First Minister said Rowling’s posts had been a “perfect example of that”.

He went on: "Anybody who read the act will not have been surprised at all that there's no arrests made.

“JK Rowling's tweets may well be offensive, upsetting and insulting to trans people, but it doesn't mean that they meet a threshold of criminality of being threatening or abusive and intending to stir up hatred."

Responding on social media, Rowling accused Yousaf of “authoritarianism”.

The author wrote: "Most of Scotland is upset and offended by Yousaf’s bumbling incompetence and illiberal authoritarianism, but we aren’t lobbying to have him locked up for it.”

On Wednesday, experts told the National that nothing Rowling had done was “ever likely” to meet the criminality threshold under the Hate Crime Act.

University of Glasgow law professor James Chalmers said: “A lot of people have thought for whatever reason that misgendering trans people is in itself enough to be an offence, that’s never been the case. It’s not clear where that interpretation of the law has come from.

“Nothing she did was ever likely to meet that threshold.”

Various media outlets have falsely reported that calling people by a gender other than the one they identify with would be criminalised by the Hate Crime Act.

In one example, sharing a clip from right-wing presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer’s show on social media, the Rupert Murdoch-owned TalkTV reported on “the SNP’s controversial new law which criminalises misgendering”.