NEWS

U.K.: Twitter Joke Lands Man in Jail

By Matthew Harwood

In a world where civilian aviation is perpetually under threat of terrorist attack, it may be smart to avoid making jokes on social networking Web sites that someone else may confuse as a threat.

Paul Chambers, 26, found this out the hard way, according to the Telegraph. On January 6, he logged onto his Twitter account to joke about the possibility his trip to Ireland may be delayed because of snow.

"Robin Hood airport is closed," he wrote. "You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

But while most of his friends enjoyed the joke, someone clearly didn't and alerted the police, who arrived on Mr Chambers' doorstep on January 13.

The police arrested Chambers under the Terrorism Act and produced a print-out of his comments on Twitter as evidence. He has since been released on bail until February 11. Police also seized his laptop, his iPhone, and his desktop computer for evidence.

The Telegraph reports that Chambers may be the first person arrested for posting something on Twitter in the United Kingdom, but noted there have been some alleged arrests in the United States.

The 26-year-old is clearly flabbergasted this has happened to him.

"I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post," he said. "I'm the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine."


♦ Screenshot by Mykl Roventine/Flickr

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