Only a moron will take that tweet seriously

Wow, here’s a serious miscarriage of justice. Earlier this year, Paul Chambers posted a message on Twitter:

Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!

No big deal right? We see such tweets all the time. Anyone with common sense would know that the person is just venting his anger on Twitter and he doesn’t mean it.

But a off duty airport manager spotted that tweet 5 days later and made a police report. (Isn’t 5 days a bit too late if it is a real bomb threat?) I thought the police will brush away that ridiculous police report. But they didn’t. The anti-terror police arrested Paul Chambers for making a bomb threat. His mobile phone, laptop and desktop hard drive were confiscated during a search of his house. He was later charged with “sending a public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003”

Pretty unbelievable right? So I thought the judge will throw the case out and reprimand the police for wasting tax payers money. But no. On 10 May, Paul Chambers was found guilty at Doncaster magistrates court and ordered to pay £1,000 in fines and legal costs. Seriously!

OK, maybe the judge is weird. So Paul Chambers appealed and guess what? He lost the appeal. The judge said that the tweet contained “menace” and that Paul Chambers must have known that it might be taken seriously.

Wow, I don’t know what to say man. I thought UK have freedom of speech and people there generally have common sense. Who in the right mind would that that tweet seriously? And if someone really wants to bomb a place, he/she won’t be so dumb to Tweet about it.

Many Twitter users are protesting by retweeting that offending tweet with a #IAmSpartacus hashtag. The #IAmSpartacus hashtag is inspired by this movie.

So boys and gals, beware of what you tweet. You never know when some over-zealous manager, police, judge or moron might take your anger tweet seriously.

And for the record, I didn’t mean it when I tweet that message few weeks ago. Please don’t arrest me. I won’t shoot my colleagues with a shotgun for sending me large file attachments. I swear…..

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