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Twitter joke ruling hailed as victory for free speech

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posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 09:25 AM
In January 2010 a man was arrested for his Twitter comment about an airport.

2010 ATS Thread: Twitter joke led to Terror Act arrest and airport life ban

But a few days ago a judge overturned the ruling.

Twitter joke ruling hailed as victory for free speech

A high court ruling overturning the conviction of Paul Chambers, who was found guilty of sending a menacing tweet, has been greeted as a victory for freedom of speech.

The decision, handed down by the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, represents a significant shift in the legal system's treatment of social media sites, signalling that comments should be read in the context of online communications.

Reading some of the comments from the original 2010 thread, I'm sure many members will be happy with this ruling. Yes, it may not have been the smartest Tweet ever made, but I don't think it warranted the arrest. I agree with the judge's ruling and hope this sets the standard for the future for similar incidences.

Cooper said: "It's an important decision for social networks. It means that in future not only does a message have to be of a truly menacing character but the person who sends it has to intend it to be menacing.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 09:59 AM
Thank God at least one judge has common sense!

The comment was clearly in jest, he obviously *wasnt* going to blow up the airport.


If I got took to court for every. Stoopid, jesting, terror alerting, fear inciting comment I made, the court system would be backed up to the limit, and may aswell be called sinnyworld.

I got sacked a few months ago for saying "my boss is all up in ma grill" on facebook LOL

She must have been cyber stalking me, cuz she wasn't on my friends list.

And to top it off, she was all up in ma grill!! Aha.

Got better job now anyway, one door closes, another opens aye?

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 10:08 AM
It is always good to hear about someone in a position of authority using some common sense.

Just when all the ridiculous nonsense seems to be about to boil over, something like this happens. It makes me think there might be some hope left for our species after all.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 10:13 AM
Publicly saying on the internet that you're going to blow up an airport in a week if they don't reopen is an invitation to get yourself arrested. It doesn't matter what the ruling was, the guy is a moron. Free speech or not, you don't go around threatening to blow things up or kill people and expect people to assume you're joking.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 10:31 AM
reply to post by trollz

I don't think anyone would disagree that the guy made a stupid move. Especially on that topic in this day and age. But I do like the judge saying that it has to be looked at more to see if it's sent with intent. Like an above poster said, if everyone was arrested every time they made a comment out of anger it would be ridiculous. Dumb Tweet, reasonable judge.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by enjoies05

My wife and I regularly have discussion (sometimes heated) about intent vs word. She is big on the words. I am big on intent. So when my 14 year old says something that she finds unsavory, i remind her that his intent was not harmful. She struggles with this, but intent is what matters. If you don't follow intent, then you are only following your own inferrence. And that is nothing more than putting words in someones mouth.

I would hail the decision of some victory. But since this is so logical and common sense, the only victory is over stupidity. And that kind of victory is just bittersweet.

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