UK Man Arrested And Banned From Airport For Twitter Joke About Blowing Up An Airport
from the careful-who-you-joke-with dept
A few weeks ago, I was flying with my wife somewhere, and as we passed through security, a TSA agency took my wife’s shoes and asked if he could run a separate test on them. A little while later, he came back and asked if she had another pair of shoes, saying that hers had “failed the test.” It was around 5am, and neither of us were completely awake and we were both really confused, and trying to figure out how her shoes could have failed any sort of test (could she have stepped in some sort of mud that set off a test?!?) or if she had packed another pair of shoes, when the TSA guy started laughing, saying he was just joking and “you were supposed to protest!” Apparently, it was all a big joke. It wasn’t that funny. And, of course, we’ve been told over and over again that this kind of joking is only allowed to go in one direction.
Krubuntu points us to the news of a guy in the UK who found himself arrested and banned for life from an airport after posting a message on Twitter that read: “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!!” This was in response to the airport closing due to snow, and the guy realizing he was supposed to fly from there a week later. Now, clearly, this was an ill-advised Twitter message. And, at the very least, I don’t begrudge police from at least doing a quick check to make sure that it wasn’t serious, but to then arrest him under the Terror Act, interrogate him for seven hours, threaten him with further charges and ban him for life from the airport? At some point you have to think that the response has gone too far as well. Yes, the post was in poor taste, but at some point law enforcement people should recognize when it was just a frustrated person making an ill-advised joke and move on.