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Twitter tirades test limits of freedom of speech

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So the UK also has its fair share of idiots. You have to be an idiot to even joke that you want to blow up an airport in this day and age and to do it over the internet? IDIOTS!

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Their cases have outraged civil libertarians and inflamed the debate about the limits of free speech in a Web 2.0 world

Protection of free speech is the freedom to express an opinion; the "jokes" we have been presented here do not constitute as an opinion. Hence these people are rightfully standing in front of a court.

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Agree with Kyoken.

Freedom of Speech was created to allow the voicing of Opinions(primarily against goverments, religion, etc). Old Speakers Corners in Hyde park, etc were the 1st implementations of it and they had plenty of fights when a speaker insulted someone.

It is NOT a FREE Ticket so that you can say anything you want and don't have to face repercussions.

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I have always been taught that speaking only is not a crime. However doing something like preparing a bomb attack is a crime.

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Speaking is not a Crime, but be very careful of your audience and who can hear it.

On the net it is the same as using a megaphone in a city-square or voicing it over a radio broadcast, etc.

This is the danger with the Net anyone can listen, interpret what you said and spread that interpretation. There is NO privacy on the net as exists in your living room.

And way too many people haven't realised that yet. That what they say online is public and can be accessed by future employers, etc to decide their futures. You should see the background checks companies now perform on applicants for jobs and they can find a LOT of stuff.

JT is a good example of what people say online but most likely would never voice in a face to face discussion.

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For me obviously the two people in the article were joking. anybody who believed what they said is an idiot or wants to shut the freedom of speech.

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With the claim that he was going to bomb the airport were clearly a joke. the judge who suggested otherwise is nothing but a pompous fool.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown may be Britain's most stupid woman (the topic is open to debate). Compton made the stoning remark after she said on the radio that Britain had no right to condemn other countries human rights records, even for stoning to death of women under Sharia law. The twitter comment from Compton was actually relevant under the circumstances and perhaps a natural response to his outrage at her ridiculous comments.

Those who care for freedom of speech should be very concerned about these recent cases.

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Many people seem to be incapable to comprehend that freedom of speech, guaranteed under the constitution, is not a free ticket to insult, to use foul language, to make veiled threats or make statements that can be interpreted as threats or to make poor attempts at satire, humor or otherwise stupid, tasteless remarks that can be interpreted as damaging or threatening behavior. A revision of the constitution is in order to accommodate everyone with the urge to provoke under the guise of 'freedom of speech'.

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Many people seem to be incapable to comprehend that freedom of speech, guaranteed under the constitution, is not a free ticket to insult, to use foul language, to make veiled threats or make statements that can be interpreted as threats or to make poor attempts at satire, humor or otherwise stupid, tasteless remarks that can be interpreted as damaging or threatening behavior. A revision of the constitution is in order to accommodate everyone with the urge to provoke under the guise of 'freedom of speech'.

that would be great - then people can prosecute offenders that insult people calling them ugly

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Adding to presto345.

The Internet is NOT governed by the US Constitution/Law but by international standards set decades(half-century) ago. So the US rights and amendments are so much fluff on the Internet.

People need get over that(both posters and mods, etc). Most forums and sites like JT, etc are privately owned and thus privately governed/controlled.

More like if you step into someones living room, their rules apply not yours.

Same for the Net, many people still think anything online is free for the taking and anything goes. Not so.

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I thought that a judge always trys to deterine the "intent" behind any crime to ascertian whether it is done with malice . here, however comments have been taken purely at face value by authorities. This is a mistake with written media like email and twitter.As we all know sms mesaages and emails are always causing misunderstandings due to the lack of context, tone of voice and subtlety present in a direct voice conversation.

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More mechanical cluelessness by government officials. To anybody with an IQ above that of a garden snail, it was clear this never was a terrorist threat.

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Hold on for a second, what about something similar, like talk radio? On talk radio people phone in and you regularly hear ranting about people who "should be shot", or "should be hung", or "should be castrated", etc. These comments are just as traceable as twitters, but as far as I know no-one has ever been prosecuted for a comment made on talk radio.

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LoveUSA - I have always been taught that speaking only is not a crime. However doing something like preparing a bomb attack is a crime.

You probably never attended a British school of law. The British have been attacked by terrorists for decades. Fanatical muslims, the IRA, etc. They take a dim view of people who "joke" about blowing things up. Paul Chambers found that out with a vengeance.

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So the UK also has its fair share of idiots. You have to be an idiot to even joke that you want to blow up an airport in this day and age and to do it over the internet? IDIOTS!

totally agree. Who "jokes" about blowing up an airport? If someone in a bad mood thinks talking like this is an acceptable way to vent, then they need to go to anger management classes.

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Frungy:

" Hold on for a second, what about something similar, like talk radio? On talk radio people phone in and you regularly hear ranting about people who "should be shot", or "should be hung", or "should be castrated", etc. These comments are just as traceable as twitters, but as far as I know no-one has ever been prosecuted for a comment made on talk radio. "

The story is from the UK, not from the US. There is no talk radio scene there. But while you are at it, why not add cable TV like MSNBC? What you mention is pretty common fare there.

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Freedom of speech is not as simple as people seem to think. No, no one can tell you what and what not to say, but you better be prepared to face what happens after you say it. Just like if you said something controversial during a chat in a pub, you should realize that the possibility exists for someone to call you out on it or punch you in the face.

I agree with the other comments, at least in regards to the airplane statement-- you don't joke about blowing airports up, especially these days. Good grief.

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freedom of speech?? to say that you'd blow up an airport to random people, it's a threat!! it's like some recent incident where some crazy guy sent a letter to an elementary school and said he'd kill the students..does that count as a freedom of expression? NO, it's a threat.

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fishy-- I agree with you fishy. Though, it's such a fine line to walk with technology these days. We don't know what's true or what's not always, especially on the web. I think the arguments about free speech however are being brought up because people don't want the government looking at what they're writing on the web and judging about it. But my point is, no one is saying you're not allowed to make stupid comments about blowing up airports, "jokingly"-- but don't be so surprised when you get hauled in for questioning about it.

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