At Least You Can Now Tweet a Joke


Jul 27th

Paul Chambers, 27 year old, male from Doncaster has had his conviction for “menacing electronic communication” overturned. Convicted in May 2010, Chambers was fined £385 and ordered to pay £600 costs at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court.

Chambers was found guilty after sending a Tweet stating the following “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!!”, out of frustration on hearing Robin Hood airport was shut by snow in January 2010.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, said in their judgement: “If the person or persons who receive or read it, [the message] or may reasonably be expected to receive, or read it, would brush it aside as a silly joke, or a joke in bad taste, or empty bombastic or ridiculous banter, then it would be a contradiction in terms to describe it as a message of a menacing character.”

Chambers had a lot of support from comedians, including Stephen Fry and Al Murray, that were concerned about the freedom of speech on the Internet and the ability “to have laugh”, regardless of how tasteless the joke may be.

Fry later tweeted that the ruling was a “complete vindication and victory” for Mr Chambers.

Common sense has won out at the end of the day; it has just cost the UK public a load of dosh via the cost of prosecuting Chambers and the subsequent appeals/ It is not like we are in a recession or anything.

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