10 May 2010

British Sense of Humour? Not So Much

What a sad, sad day for this country:

A trainee accountant who posted a message on Twitter threatening to blow an airport "sky high" has been found guilty of sending a menacing electronic communication.

Now, the judge may not know this, but there's a technical term for this kind of tweet: it's what we Internet johnnies call a "joke"...

The truly sickening part of this judgement is the following:

a district judge at Doncaster Magistrates Court ruled that the Tweet was "of a menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live".

In other words, our society has become so corrupted by the cynical abuse of the idea of "terror" that we have lost all sense of proportion, not to mention humour. Tragic - and dangerous, since it is bound to have a chilling effect on Twitter in this country.

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Anonymous said...

If I had a petrol bomb for each time the justice system misunderstood humour, I'd be able to set every court in the land ablaze by now.

Glyn Moody said...

you do realise we'll have to arrest you for that comment...?

Anonymous said...

That's nothing. My school district suspends students for certain extreme acts (drugs, violence, bomb threats, etc.) in the forms of in-school suspensions (the student is held in detention in school for the full day - less serious) or out-of-school suspensions (the student is kept at home and is not allowed to come to school events during the suspension period - more serious) - both go on the student's record (and thus severely limit the student's ability to get into colleges, etc.). A few days ago, there was a fight in school and the students involved were punished with 1 day of in-school suspension. On the other hand, another student posted online a statement of frustration (with regard to the teacher giving too much homework) saying "someone [(the student says someone rather than naming anyone specifically) should beat the [poo] out of this teacher" and got 4 days out-of-school suspension for this (and has no way to expunge it from the record, thus very much diminishing the chances of getting into good colleges, etc.). The student, who is a straight-A student, has extremely high test scores, is in a plethora of after-school activities, and is taking extremely challenging classes, was somehow considered "a threat to this teacher". And it wasn't even a direct threat!
By that standard, you guys have it easy.

Glyn Moody said...

yes, sadly, we don't have the monopoly on this kind of loss of common sense.