Twitter Jokes About Blowing Up Airports: Now OK in the U.K.

By: Josh Wolford - July 27, 2012

If you’re traveling around the U.K. and something pisses you off so much that you jokingly tweeting that you’re going to blow an airport “sky high” – have no fear. That’s because there is now precedent for the legality of your statements.

A 28-year-old Northern Ireland man has won an appeal and had a prior conviction overturned by the High Court in London. His earlier conviction, which occurred in 2010, stemmed from a tweet he made at the Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster.

Admittedly frustrated by the fact that the airport’s service were closed for snow, Paul Chambers sent out a tweet saying:

Crap! 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!!

Of course, Chambers declared that the tweet was just a joke said in a moment of severe frustration. But in May 2010, he was convicted of sending a “menacing electronic communication.” His first appeal went nowhere. But this time, the judge agreed that the tweet was clearly a joke, and not menacing at all.

And let’s be honest here – this kind of tweet would be highly unusual for someone planning true terroristic activity.

Through the ordeal, Chambers has some friends in high places – including actor and comedian Stephen Fry. He tweeted his support for Chambers throughout his appeal process, using the hashtag #twitterjoketrial.

“I am relieved, vindicated – it is ridiculous it ever got this far,” Chambers told the BBC.

[Via BBC]

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

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  • Heatblizzard

    True terrorist will NEVER tell you their plans. Why? Because it won’t emit fear if people knew in advance even the remote possibility.

    That’s why all bomb threats *including school bomb threats* wind up being fake because during a real bombing there would be NO warning except for the ticking noise if you are lucky enough to hear it. Tick tock tick tock tick tick tick tock. What’s that Sir?

    No prank calls. No kind of terrorist alert watch until after the event or events if multiple sites are targeted.

    “This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.” “Misison Impossible*

  • Heatblizzard

    Also government reactions are always based on fears of copy cats which never happen.