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

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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]
Josh Wolford

Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer.

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