Want To Joke On Twitter About Blowing Up An Airport? Think Again

You know that old saying about thinking before you act? In today’s world, it is think before you comment, because sometimes you just want to suck those bullets back into your fingers

An air passenger was arrested under the Terrorism Act and held in a police cell for seven hours after joking on Twitter he would blow an airport ‘sky high’ if his flight was delayed.

Paul Chambers, 26, posted the message after snowfall threatened to delay his plans to travel from Doncaster’s Robin Hood airport to Ireland on January 15.

The finance supervisor wrote: ‘C***! Robin Hood airport is closed.

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‘You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s*** together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high”

Police were alerted and Mr Chambers was arrested.

He’s been banned for life from the airport and suspended from his job. Of course, civil rights weenies, don’t get it

Civil liberties campaigner Tessa Mayes said: ‘Making jokes about terrorism is considered a thought crime, mistakenly seen as a real act of harm or intention to commit harm.

‘The police’s actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us. In a democracy, our right to say what we please to each other should be non-negotiable, even on Twitter.’

So, Tessa, if I threaten to flay you alive in a Twitter post, would that be OK? No? You’re upset? You want the police to investigate me? You want a restraining order put in place, and perhaps me put in a jail cell? Why? My right to say what I please is non-negotiable. Perhaps you are just a little sensitive when it involves your pain and death. You should get over that. (the sad part is that I actually have to write that I used the flaying thing as an illustration, because certain folks will not get it, and take it as an actual threat, which, Mr. Whoeverismonitoring the blogosphere, I wouldn’t actually threaten. Sigh.)

The fact is, free speech has always been about the ability to criticize the government without fear of repercussions, at least under the US Constitution, not just saying what you want when you want. Threats have consequences, and are not protected by the Constitution. And Britain doesn’t have the same free speech laws that we do. It has never been OK to joke about hijacking and/or blowing up a plane or airport, so, doing it on Twitter doesn’t make it OK. Surely, Chambers was just kidding, and thought it would be amusing to make that Tweet. The people who work security at the airport didn’t know that. They aren’t mind readers. They HAVE to take threats seriously.

Perhaps this will be a lesson for those that shoot before they think.

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