UK Politician Arrested For Being A Jerk On Twitter

from the enforced-niceness dept

Apparently using the same law that was used to convict Paul Chambers for making a joke on Twitter, a UK politician has also been arrested for making a stupid statement on the service. This time, it was because Birmingham City Councillor Gareth Compton suggested, via Twitter, that newspaper columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown "be stoned to death." Once again, this was a stupid thing to say, and it makes Compton look like a jackass. But should being a total jerk online be illegal? At least in the UK, that seems to be the law now, which means that police may be quite busy arresting various jerks who say ill-advised things on Twitter and Facebook for quite some time. Forget the "war on drugs." It looks like the UK has declared "war on online jerks."

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: I do not advocate for internet censorship, but..

    I do take all kind of publications seriously. Even when it is done using social media.
    And how about when it is "published" to a private group via an email or social media or indeed in a private chat as happened recently?
    Sending comments like "he should be stoned to death" or sending naked photos of your ex-girlfriend falls out to the same category in my mind.
    Do you have any idea how many times I've commented to collegues that the application of a baseball bat might improve certain people I was particularly frustrated with the stupidity of at the time? Are you also planning to petition to have the word "Hyberbole" removed from the dictionary?
    If you made those being adult, you should take responsibility of those.
    And how about the responsibility as an adult listener not to be so thin skinned that any comment can be construed as criminally offensive? OK the remark was offensive and poorly chosen, but then so was she - faux-offense to score points is something I detest personally and the hypocrisy inherent in her method of retaliation is a little hard to stomach too.

    Does anyone (other than her clearly and I'd debate that) actually think he was seriously inciting violence in any way? There are many people regularly in the media that offend me by merely having to look at them, can I have them arrested for it? That might be nice.. but then I suspect I might get pulled for "posession of an offensive shirt"

    Perhaps the solution is to have everyone accompanied everywhere by a lawyer with secretarial skills. You would have an opaque 1 way soundproof bubble and a private (and encrypted of course in case someone overhears and is offended) link between you and your personal lawyer which allows him or her (or it.. wouldn't want to offend lawyers who are neither) to speak or type for you so that every word is rendered through a "correctness" filter for minimum offense to any person group or other. Sounds reasonable to me....

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.