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tim2

Offensive electronic communications

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Is anyone else a little uneasy about the new trend to arrest and criminalize people who tweet/mail/facebook "offensive" messages?

I am in no way condoning or supporting any of the aforementioned messages (e.g. Tom Daley case, soldier case, April case etc.) and I'm not really a libertarian but there's something about this that smacks of censorship, and whilst we may all agree that these cases were indeed unpleasant and the individuals either also unpleasant or maybe stupid or both, I just worry that the definition of what is deemed offensive can be very different between individuals and that unscrupulous people in power could use/extend this to silence criticism or to set their own moral agenda.

Feel free to shout me down but I think this should be debated in the cold light of day and not in immediate anger at what some idiot retweets from Sickipedia.

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Is anyone else a little uneasy about the new trend to arrest and criminalize people who tweet/mail/facebook "offensive" messages?

I am in no way condoning or supporting any of the aforementioned messages (e.g. Tom Daley case, soldier case, April case etc.) and I'm not really a libertarian but there's something about this that smacks of censorship, and whilst we may all agree that these cases were indeed unpleasant and the individuals either also unpleasant or maybe stupid or both, I just worry that the definition of what is deemed offensive can be very different between individuals and that unscrupulous people in power could use/extend this to silence criticism or to set their own moral agenda.

Feel free to shout me down but I think this should be debated in the cold light of day and not in immediate anger at what some idiot retweets from Sickipedia.

Agreed, there is a very broad line between tasteless behaviour and criminal behaviour. And, yes, 'offensive' is in the eye of the beholder.

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I'm pretty sure freedom of speech does not include taking the pee out of 5 year old murdered girls.

I understand your point but essentially cretins like this forfeit their right to be seen as reasonable adults. So #### 'em.

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If somebody put a borderline joke on the "Joke Thread", would that person be deemed as a danger to society, and as such punished, or would the "Mods", invertebrates though they are, just delete the post & warn the poster of their distaste?

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If somebody put a borderline joke on the "Joke Thread", would that person be deemed as a danger to society, and as such punished, or would the "Mods", invertebrates though they are, just delete the post & warn the poster of their distaste?

I thought you were supposed to be getting help with your drinking.

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I thought you were supposed to be getting help with your drinking.

sober, not had a drink for 3 days, off to AA tonight @ 8pm

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sober, not had a drink for 3 days, off to AA tonight @ 8pm

So no excuse for typing garbage like that then?

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Is anyone else a little uneasy about the new trend to arrest and criminalize people who tweet/mail/facebook "offensive" messages?

I am in no way condoning or supporting any of the aforementioned messages (e.g. Tom Daley case, soldier case, April case etc.) and I'm not really a libertarian but there's something about this that smacks of censorship, and whilst we may all agree that these cases were indeed unpleasant and the individuals either also unpleasant or maybe stupid or both, I just worry that the definition of what is deemed offensive can be very different between individuals and that unscrupulous people in power could use/extend this to silence criticism or to set their own moral agenda.

Feel free to shout me down but I think this should be debated in the cold light of day and not in immediate anger at what some idiot retweets from Sickipedia.

Totally agree. They'll be some overworked magistrates around when Mrs T goes if this is the bar that's being set.

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Totally agree. They'll be some overworked magistrates around when Mrs T goes if this is the bar that's being set.

I don't think people who make such comments should be able to hide behind free speech. It is disgusting and the actions of a scumbag.

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I don't think people who make such comments should be able to hide behind free speech. It is disgusting and the actions of a scumbag.

But it'll happen John. I Guarantee it'll happen on here as well.

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I'm pretty sure freedom of speech does not include taking the pee out of 5 year old murdered girls.

I understand your point but essentially cretins like this forfeit their right to be seen as reasonable adults. So #### 'em.

I agree that they forfeit the right to be seen as reasonable adults but I don't think it should bring criminal charges. I like the fact that with sites such as Twitter and Facebook is it is easy to bring these idiotic comments to the attention of others so these sad little cretins can be publicly named and shamed.

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How is it different to Frankie Boyle's Maddie McCann jokes that he tells in front of thousands of paying punters?

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How is it different to Frankie Boyle's Maddie McCann jokes that he tells in front of thousands of paying punters?

From a purely legal perspective I guess it's due to the fact that people who directly hear Frankie Boyle/see a tweet are the ones who can legally be offended and as you've bought a ticket you've forgone your rights to be offended. Just a guess, could well be rubbish.

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From a purely legal perspective I guess it's due to the fact that people who directly hear Frankie Boyle/see a tweet are the ones who can legally be offended and as you've bought a ticket you've forgone your rights to be offended. Just a guess, could well be rubbish.

Doesn't really wash with Facebook/Twitter posts. You have to actively seek to follow/friend a person so in that respect you have chosen to read what they have to say.

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Doesn't really wash with Facebook/Twitter posts. You have to actively seek to follow/friend a person so in that respect you have chosen to read what they have to say.

Mostly true with facebook, but with Twitter you have to actively do something to stop all and sundry seeing what you write.

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Mostly true with facebook, but with Twitter you have to actively do something to stop all and sundry seeing what you write.

But you still have to follow a person on Twitter to see what they write. The only way you can read something that might offend you on Twitter is if you have followed the person who wrote it, someone you followed has retweeted it or you have searched for the tweet.

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But you still have to follow a person on Twitter to see what they write. The only way you can read something that might offend you on Twitter is if you have followed the person who wrote it, someone you followed has retweeted it or you have searched for the tweet.

So if you search April Jones, in the hope for some news you lose your right to be offended?

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So if you search April Jones, in the hope for some news you lose your right to be offended?

Of course you may read something that offends you. You said that if you buy a ticket to Frankie Boyle you forgo your 'rights to be offended'*. How is that different from going onto a website, or buying a paper?

* When you say right to be offended I'm assuming you mean the right to be not offended. No one has this right, offence is taken, not given. I don't like what the guy wrote about soldiers on Facebook, it offends me. But my rights aren't being infringed here.

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Of course you may read something that offends you. You said that if you buy a ticket to Frankie Boyle you forgo your 'rights to be offended'*. How is that different from going onto a website, or buying a paper?

It's based on likelyhood. If The Telegraph put hardcore pornography on page 9 they couldn't say , "Well you bought the paper" because it wouldn't be reasonable to expect it.

* When you say right to be offended I'm assuming you mean the right to be not offended. No one has this right, offence is taken, not given. I don't like what the guy wrote about soldiers on Facebook, it offends me. But my rights aren't being infringed here.

I mean the right to take offence, he has been found guilty of sending a grossly offensive message, so someone has to have taken offence.

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Connected to this is the incident during the riots last year where a lad wrote on facebook 'Warrington tonight 8pm' or some such nonsense. Not one single person turned up, including the guy who wrote it, and yet the police saw fit to arrest the guy. The CPS then saw fit to charge him. And a judge (describing it as "an evil act" (really?) saw fit to find send him down for four years. Four years? For that?

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So if you search April Jones, in the hope for some news you lose your right to be offended?

No, you have the right to be offended, you just don't have the right to expect that the "offender" is punished for that.

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Connected to this is the incident during the riots last year where a lad wrote on facebook 'Warrington tonight 8pm' or some such nonsense. Not one single person turned up, including the guy who wrote it, and yet the police saw fit to arrest the guy. The CPS then saw fit to charge him. And a judge (describing it as "an evil act" (really?) saw fit to find send him down for four years. Four years? For that?

So is it ok to have a bomb hoax and argue its ok cos there was no bomb? Riots were breaking out all over the shop, how were the cops to know it was a wind up?

It might not be up there in terms of evil acts but it was pretty stupid and the sentence sends out a message about posting provocative stuff in the public domain: expect to face the consequences.

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No, you have the right to be offended, you just don't have the right to expect that the "offender" is punished for that.

I wasn't aware anyone had put that argument forward anyway.

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Connected to this is the incident during the riots last year where a lad wrote on facebook 'Warrington tonight 8pm' or some such nonsense. Not one single person turned up, including the guy who wrote it, and yet the police saw fit to arrest the guy. The CPS then saw fit to charge him. And a judge (describing it as "an evil act" (really?) saw fit to find send him down for four years. Four years? For that?

Incitement to commit crimes is a crime. 4 years is a bit rough but he deserved punishing.

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I wasn't aware anyone had put that argument forward anyway.

Read Jonnoco's posts. He says that everybody concerned deserves what's coming to them. Morally speaking, they do but it's crappy justice.

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