Thursday, 11 November 2010

It was only a joke!

Hmmmm I was a little ranty last night wasn't I! Quite rightfully so I think too! I've received two emails from ticketmaster informing me ticket sales start tomorrow. Shove them!

But anyway that was yesterday this is today.

I'm very sad/annoyed to hear that Paul Chambers has lost his appeal in the infamous Twitter Joke Trial. Watch it trend!! For anyone who doesn't know, Mr Chambers published a tongue in cheek tweet about blowing up and airport, ok not a tongue in cheek subject, but in the context it was placed, clearly not a threat.

However, he was taken seriously and arrested, costing him a criminal record when prosecuted, under some poxy sub-law not any anti terrorist legislation, and his job.

Twitter has commonly been the home of overreactions (anyone remember the Duncan Bannatyne incident) but this is probably the most serious of them. Does it mean that every tweet is scrutinised by someone (sure to god nobody reads mine). Do we all have to be now far more careful about what we say? It's going down that way, the more avenues people open up for communication, the more closely we're watched. In the age of freedom and free speech it just doesn't sit right to me.

Was what Mr Chambers did wrong? I wouldn't say so, on reflection misconceived and I bet if he had the choice now, he'd change sending it. But honestly it was a clear joke and it was left to some humourless judge to decide what it is or is not acceptable to say on our own accounts in our own time. If the police had said, "Think about it next time" and sent him on his way, that would have been fair enough, and given enough warning no doubt so he would have. But this is heavy handed and big brother-y (not a word)

How many people, talented funny people, will not express themselves to the full any more, wary they might upset some follower and end up with a slander case.

The always cool Stephen Fry has offered to cover the fine, and if he didn't mean it so so many people will donate to help cover it, showing a community of users who understand each other.

The threat or terror is a current one, and honestly none of us know if it will ever effect us, but if there was to be an attack something deep down tells me, they wouldn't announce it on twitter first.

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