Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Twitter backlash grows after airport joke tweeter fined

Celebrities flock to cause of Paul Chambers

Article comments

The case of a UK man who was prosecuted for making what many believe was a joke post about blowing up an airport on Twitter appears to be turning into a free speech cause celebre.

"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!!" Paul Chambers wrote to friends in January after Robin Hood airport near Doncaster was closed due to bad weather.

Unfortunately, the airport took his flippancy literally, taking him to court in May for breaching an obscure telecoms regulation. Chambers this week lost his appeal and has been left holding a reported £3,000 legal bill plus a £1,000 fine.

The failed appeal has now generated a ‘twitlash’ against the decision with many thousands of users re-tweeting his precise message under the hashtag ‘#Iamspartacus’ in protest, egged on by a number of celebrities, including British comedian and writer Stephen Fry.

That tens of thousands of twitter users have repeated the same phrase that got Chambers into legal trouble makes English law look foolish, and raises the issue of why he was pursued in the first place.

The strong balance of views on Twitter is that he was making a flippant joke and that the authorities and appeal judge who ruled this week should have taken this into account.

“We find it impossible to accept that anyone living in this country, in the current climate of terrorist threats, would not be aware of the consequences of their actions in making such a statement,” said  appeal case judge Judge Jacqueline Davies this week in a statement that has been widely criticised.

In a separate Twitter controversy, Conservative councillor Gareth Compton was arrested for tweeting "can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really," in response to comments made by journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown regarding Prime Minister David Cameron’s trip to China this week.

Twitter messages in support of for Compton, using the same phrase he used, now appear to be proliferating on the service.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *