So we just had a story about a 19-year-old guy being arrested for making a (bad) joke tweet about an out of control garbage truck
. The Northumbria police who arrested Ross Loraine are insisting that the bad joke was a "malicious communication" under The Communications Act. Many people have been calling out this rather ridiculous attack on free speech, but police in Scotland seem to be doubling down. They just sent out the following tweet
If you can't read it, it says:
Please be aware that we will continue to monitor comments on social media & any offensive comments will be investigated.
In other words: "fuck free speech -- if you say something we deem offensive, we can arrest you." So far, nearly all of the reply tweets seem to be mocking the police. Here are just a few examples:
And, my personal favorite:
But, seriously, even beyond just arresting that other guy, who thought it was a good idea for the police to officially tweet out that it would investigate the public for free speech comments they make on social media? Do they really think that chilling free speech is a good idea in Scotland? I've been to Scotland a few times and really enjoyed it -- in particular the openness to discussing a variety of ideas. Trying to stifle free speech so directly seems like a ridiculous plan.