Users of Twitter and Facebook Must Be Careful

must be careful use twitter and facebook.thumbnail Users of Twitter and Facebook Must Be Careful Freedom of Speech, Twitter and Bomb Threats
Today Twitter users in the UK are coming together to support Paul Chambers.
Paul Chambers was found guilty in May of sending a menacing electronic communication. Twitterers in the UK are taking this up as a restriction to their freedom of speech.
The communication was aimed at Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire because Mr Chambers was annoyed at the fact it was closed due to snow.
What did he exactly say? The following is enough to get you a £385 fine, £15 victim surcharge, £2,600 in prosecution costs and fired from work in the UK ‘Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!’ Mr Chambers is the first person in the UK to be convicted for writing an offensive tweet.
The fuss comes today because the tweeting joker lost his appeal against the conviction. The number one and number two trending topics in the UK are currently “hashtags” #twitterjokertrial and #IamSpartacus. Both campaigns are urging users to re-tweet his words as an act of defiance in support of people’s right to say what they like on social media sites.
Paul Chambers has also received support from celebrities, Stephen Fry tweeted ‘My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I’ll pay’. Dara O’Briain tweeted that the decision was ‘ludicrous’.
UK citizens take their right to freedom of speech very seriously. Index on Censorship an advocacy group for freedom of speech has accused the UK judiciary with being out of step with social networks. Padraig Reidy, the news editor for Index on Censorship stated ‘The verdict demonstrates that the UK’s legal system has little respect for free expression, and has no understanding of how people communicate in the 21st Century’.
This case certainly raises interesting issues about social media and the things people say. People share so much online, photos, locations, personal data and now also their most inner thoughts. Users of Twitter and Facebook must be careful about what information they share.