Remember the man who was arrested after tweeting a joke bomb threat to his local airport? He has actually been charged and is due in court tomorrow.
Paul Chambers found himself arrested on terrorism charges after tweeting his frustration at airport delays due to bad weather.
Heavy snow in the UK led Chambers to quip in a tweet “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!!”. A week later he was arrested under the Terrorism Act and questioned for almost seven hours by detectives who interpreted his post as a security threat.
Well now, reports The Independent, Chambers has been charged by South Yorkshire Police with “sending by a public communications network a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003”. Chambers is due to appear in Doncaster Magistrates Court tomorrow.
It’s frightening that an innocent, if slightly misguided, tweet can lead to such serious repercussions. It’s worth noting, however, that Chambers’ tweet was reported to the police by a member of the public, rather than the police monitoring Twitter for potential criminals.
Be careful what you tweet or it could be you next time.
[Image credit: Pasukaru76 on Flickr]