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Teenager Arrested In England For Criticizing Olympic Athlete On Twitter

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the arresting-jerks-on-the-internet-will-keep-police-busy dept.

United Kingdom 639

An anonymous reader writes "A teenager from Dorset, England was arrested for sending a Twitter message to Olympic athlete Tom Daley saying: 'You let your dad down i hope you know that.' Police arrested the 17-year-old boy as part of an investigation into 'malicious tweets' after Daley and his teammate missed out on a medal. Daley's father died from cancer last year. While it is rarely used and the police have not indicated whether they are pressing charges, the Communications Act 2003 s.127 covers the sending of improper messages. Section 127(1)(a) relates to a message that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character. Sean Duffy was convicted and sentenced earlier this year for similar comments. I look forward to tens of thousands of arrests across England over the next few days as all public remarks which may cause offense, regardless of their target, are investigated by the law." According to the Guardian, another (since deleted) tweet threatened Daley with drowning, but the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made.

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639 comments

Wow... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827869)

"relates to a message that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character."

Isn't it nice to have such ambiguous laws that they could use against anyone whenever they please?

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

mordjah (1088481) | about 2 years ago | (#40827923)

Crimethink anyone? How dare you say something mean in public! Arrest him!

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827979)

I find most British sitcoms grossly offensive & indecent with their faux-wit, why isn't anyone being arrested for those?

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828319)

You're probably just too stupid to understand them.

Re:Wow... (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40828005)

Most laws are like that. They rely on a "reasonable person" test. would a reasonable person consider the tweet:

come on then you cunt i'll stick a knife down your fuckin throat now comeback and stop hiding from me

or

do you want me to come to your fucking house now with a rope and strangle you with it

to be grossly offensive? These were sent to other twitterers and it's probably these that prompted the arrest.

source: (LiberalConspiracy [liberalconspiracy.org] )

Re:Wow... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828101)

Those are adequately covered under other laws regarding intimidation and assault [look it up]. "You let your dad down" is not a threat.

Re:Wow... (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40828151)

Those are threats of violence made in public. Such things are already going to get someone arrested. No need for a new law.

Re:Wow... (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40828265)

If anything the new law means a lower punishment for threats made on the internet, because everyone knows internet tough guys never follow through.

If they did, I'd beat them up.

Re:Wow... (2)

hattig (47930) | about 2 years ago | (#40828227)

And those are a fraction of the comments he made.

It probably only took one or two people to report him to the police for them to have to investigate it, find threatening messages posted on a public board, and go an arrest him.

I also doubt it was the comment to the diver himself that triggered the arrest. It was the tweeter's massive meltdown when he got called out.

Re:Wow... (1)

jyjjy (1236308) | about 2 years ago | (#40828337)

Also, doesn't the indecent or obscene part effectively and unambiguously outlaw basically any form of cybersex?

Wait, what?? (1, Insightful)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | about 2 years ago | (#40827877)

You can be arrested for an improper message but according to that law, not for a violent message? Shouldn't the latter fall into the former?

Re:Wait, what?? (4, Informative)

Dan Dankleton (1898312) | about 2 years ago | (#40827921)

I think you parsed that sentence incorrectly.
"the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made" - i.e. an arrest can be made even if no threat of violence has been made. If a threat of violence has been made then an arrest can also be made.

Re:Wait, what?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828401)

You're still a bit off the mark: "the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made, " it's just common practice to issue threats of violence against a suspect before making an arrest.

Re:Wait, what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827931)

I'm afraid to reply to you to explain it. Probably this message alone could already be considered inapropriate, so I'm not really sure if I should send it.

Re:Wait, what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828001)

Shouldn't the latter fall into the former?

Yes, and it does. You misread the summary. Try again.

...the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made.

Re:Wait, what?? (1)

Spritzer (950539) | about 2 years ago | (#40828189)

Can't free speech not exercise you Britain in.
Oh crap! "Improper" grammar/structure. I'm doomed

Think of the Children(tm) (2)

vezepo (1399545) | about 2 years ago | (#40827885)

It's for the good of the children, lest the terrorists win!

He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827893)

He was arrested as he made a threat to kill the athlete, this doesn't mean any charges will be brought against him. I find it more likely that the Police will give him a severe talking to telling him to stop being a troll or face charges being brought in the future.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827965)

No, he did not make any threats. You clearly didn't actually read the article. Threats of violence actually are NOT enough to lead to arrest, but asshole-ish tweets are. Read the article before posting such crap.

He Did Appear to Make a Threat Actually (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#40827999)

No, he did not make any threats. You clearly didn't actually read the article. Threats of violence actually are NOT enough to lead to arrest, but asshole-ish tweets are. Read the article before posting such crap.

I can't believe I'm linking to The Huffington Post as a better source but for lack of any other site that is explaining it better, here's a timeline of the tweets [huffingtonpost.co.uk] .

Here's the tweet in question:

@TomDaley1994 i'm going to find you and i'm going to drown you in the pool you cocky twat your a nobody people like you make me sick

It is listed in the Guardian article but doesn't say it's from the arrested suspect.

Re:He Did Appear to Make a Threat Actually (5, Interesting)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | about 2 years ago | (#40828343)

Fucking hell. I don't know whether I'm proud or ashamed that in America it's not illegal to be an asshole.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (5, Informative)

adam.bower (61676) | about 2 years ago | (#40828097)

Yes he did make a threat to kill as I read the tweet and told the athlete to report it to the police.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#40828135)

"Threats of violence actually are NOT enough to lead to arrest..." No, the summary actually said threats of violence aren't required before an arrest can be made. It said nothing about whether threats of violence can lead to an arrest. And if YOU had read the article, as you recommend, you'd have seen that the boy threatened to drown the athlete.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (0)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#40828013)

And your source for that claim is...? Not that the summary posted here is any better. In the article linked it never says what specifically the arrested teen tweeted. It only has a listing of remarks that SOME USERS tweeted.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (5, Informative)

adam.bower (61676) | about 2 years ago | (#40828117)

The source was me reading the tweets and telling the athlete that malicious communications can be reported to the police, the first tweet about the guys dad wouldn't have met the criteria to be malicious in all likelihood, the one threatening to kill would.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828087)

thanks for pointing this out, the title of this post is extremely misleading..

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#40828291)

There was a debate in the original submission comments [slashdot.org] about this. Perhaps the other tweet allegations should have been mentioned, but I strongly concur with the submitter's position.

Per Chambers para. [30] [bailii.org] , the guy who jokingly "threatened" to blow up an airport:

if the person or persons who receive or read it, or may reasonably be expected to receive, or read it, would brush it aside as a silly joke, or a joke in bad taste, or empty bombastic or ridiculous banter, then it would be a contradiction in terms to describe it as a message of a menacing character.

Therefore the sort of "ridiculous banter" which might be uttered by a serial troll (as this guy is - he has made several threats in the past to lots of people) does not seem on the face of it to be unlawful. The police would be acting overzealously, or possibly illegally, to arrest him on this basis.

But the question of what is indecent/obscene is far more vague, and would be a valid reason for the police to make an arrest.

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828357)

Wonder what the difference is? Let's make something up.

"I'm having such a bad day I'm gonna kill you all / bomb airport / drown you all!" - obv. joke in bad taste / banter
"@HazelBergeron i'm going to find you and i'm going to drown you in the pool you cocky twat your a nobody people like you make me sick" - is that jokey banter now?

Re:He wasn't arrested for the criticism. (4, Insightful)

hamburger lady (218108) | about 2 years ago | (#40828407)

exactly.

According to the Guardian, another (since deleted) tweet threatened Daley with drowning, but the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made.

gee, ya think that maybe the death threat itself is what got the cops involved? just possibly?

Of course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827895)

The fact that the teenager threatened Daley with drowning is only referenced in a convenient side note. Because that would cause less fear and hysteria than the submitter actually intended to stir up.

Hang down your head, Tom Daley (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40828339)

The fact that the teenager threatened Daley with drowning is only referenced in a convenient side note. Because that would cause less fear and hysteria than the submitter actually intended to stir up.

But are the two tweets from the same person? Or did the cops, ehrm, cop out, and went for the first tweeter due to convenience or ignorance?

Not just criticism (2)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 2 years ago | (#40827911)

When I heard about this story for the first time on the radio this morning, my reaction was essentially "WTF- they're policing untasteful comments on twitter now?".

Having read about it a little more, my reaction mellowed significantly. Actual threats (albeit unrealistic) are just about within what I would consider to be the remit of the police. Of course it would depend on what exactly is done by them about it. Simply arresting and cautioning him would strike me as being proportionate. Any kind of sentence beyond perhaps a small (less than £50) fine would probably not be.

Classless (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#40827927)

I know Slashdot will cover the free speech part of this "case" which is very valid, but I'd like to point out how absolutely classless this teenager is. Hopefully, he will see the error of his ways.

Re:Classless (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#40828029)

Actually, it appears there were other more threatening tweets sent out related to the tweet in the summary. It is unclear whether the teenager sent them or others did... regardless, I can now see why the police got involved.

Re:Classless (2)

adam.bower (61676) | about 2 years ago | (#40828131)

I can 100% assure you that the kid sent the threatening tweets, he also got a bit upset that he was getting abuse on twitter and that apparently he didn't think that was fair.

Re:Classless (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 2 years ago | (#40828065)

While that may well be true, being an asshole isn't (or at least SHOULDN'T be) illegal.

That said, thought the summary doesn't seem to mention it, I've heard other statements that the tweets included a threat on the athlete's life. If that's the case, its understandable. If he's just being a jerk though, then just ignore him.

Re:Classless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828133)

Yes, hopefully he'll see the error of his ways and agree with your opinion. What is or is not classless is entirely your opinion.

In days of yore, this was solved differently (3, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about 2 years ago | (#40827937)

In days past, this was solved differently. The kid would've had his ass kicked. People had more respect for each other back then. Nowadays, every coward troll can peep out whenever they're bored or feeling malicious. Is this the future we want?

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828099)

A future where people can troll each other? Yes. I very much prefer trolling and being trolled to being beaten.
And we already have laws against the other things like false accusations and threats.

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828113)

People had more respect for each other back then.

citation needed, fuckface

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#40828143)

According to the prophesies told in a book called "1984", Governments subscribing to this religion are doing their best to make its apocalyptic predictions come true.

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (2)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 2 years ago | (#40828153)

In days past, this was solved differently. The kid would've had his ass kicked. People had more respect for each other back then. Nowadays, every coward troll can peep out whenever they're bored or feeling malicious. Is this the future we want?

You could also not be part of the twitter/facebook/whatever social site movement. Then you don't see or receive said comments. The real deal is if you interact with the public, you can get _all_ of the public. It's the cost of an open forum.

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828191)

YES! This is the future I want. The future where I am dragged out of my home and arrested for speaking my mind. Oops, was this post malicious too?

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 years ago | (#40828261)

Malicious? Oh no, far worse; you were speaking your mind!

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40828231)

No, we should duel each other to death upon every insult like in the good ol' civilised days.

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828279)

I don't know. Either way you're going to end up with the authority of the state to moderate it.

Let's say somebody says something dickish, and you kick his ass a little. Maybe the state's lack of prosecution of you will send a message. Let's say you kick it a lot, and leave them crippled for life. Can the state afford to not prosecute you?

And yes, the old saying that "stick and bones may break your bones, but only the most self-deluded think that words don't have power, if they weren't effective at getting things done, we'd hardly use them.

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828351)

In days past, this was solved differently. The kid would've had his ass kicked.

Nah. In the days past, the kid would be one of the bullies doing the ass kicking, and gets away with it.

People had more respect for each other back then.

Sure, if by respect you mean fear - fear of the bully and the violence he brings. Yea, that respect kept people from speaking up.

Since many people weren't speaking up, other people ignorantly thought the kids were behaving nicely, and look at "the good old days" through rose tinted goggles.

Nowadays, every coward troll can peep out whenever they're bored or feeling malicious. Is this the future we want?

No, nowadays, people's words/actions are out in the open to be watched and scrutinized, so bullies like the kid here have a tougher time hiding his tracks, and are caught and shamed publicly. Of course, smarter bullies still hide their tracks, but I say the Internet is doing a much better job at catching the stupid ones than before.

Whether it is appropriate for government/police getting involved is really a completely different issue.

Though for your information, while we don't have as much real life ass kickings nowadays, we can do something like this [wikipedia.org]

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (2)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 2 years ago | (#40828363)

Yes, that 17 year old is a total loser and should be punished - but not by the government. Instead, it should be by Twitter and his parents (though it seems that they've already failed, so I wouldn't count on them doing much.)

Maybe some public humiliation (like that brought on by this story) would work?

Re:In days of yore, this was solved differently (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about 2 years ago | (#40828415)

In the past you had twitter? I think the issue here is two-fold. Yes, people used to have more respect for one another. At the same time, there were those who thought these types of disrespectful things but they didn't have the guts / ability to actually confront the abused party. Digital communication has lowered that barrier, so pathetic little haters can spew this type of garbage and feel good about themselves without any fear of consequence. I don't know that having laws against mean tweets is the right way to do things, but there should be an ass kicking deployed in this specific situation.

Threats of violence are not menacing? (1)

radio4fan (304271) | about 2 years ago | (#40827943)

...but the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made.

Nothing requires arrests to be made, but surely threats of violence are by their nature 'menacing'?

Re:Threats of violence are not menacing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828173)

"I will beat you with this... herring."
Did that sound menacing?

Re:Threats of violence are not menacing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828281)

My initial reaction to hearing this story - based on the "dead dad" tweet that's been the focus of a lot of media attention - was that police involvement was completely over the top. Although saying tactless, tasteless things is deplorable; it just isn't a matter for the police.

However, it's emerged that actual death threats have been made against a specific person, which definitely warrants police investigation. I don't think a harsh punishment is in order in this case (idle threats don't warrant jail time), but this little twerp having a little chat with the police and a rap across the knuckles is well warranted.

Certainly, the law as written seems too widely framed, and open to abuse, but this is a poor example if you want to make that case.

Re:Threats of violence are not menacing? (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#40828329)

On the contrary, recent case law has established that threats of violence are sometimes clearly not menacing [slashdot.org] .

Consider: I'm going to force my cock so deep into your throat that I burst your appendix.

Might be more to this one... (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#40827955)

Even the well-known and strongly libertarian political blogger Paul Staines/Guido Fawkes is being a bit cagey about this one [order-order.com] . Making death threats via a written, public means of communication is about as far from smart as you can get.

Actually, just noticed that more details of the exchange, including screen-caps of the deleted posts, are available at this blog [blogspot.co.uk] (along with a bit of commentary, so you can make your own mind up.

There could be more to this... (2)

Dan Dankleton (1898312) | about 2 years ago | (#40827961)

The messages sent to Tom Daley were an example of massive douchebaggery, but some of the other tweets on this guys feed look like they could be bullying and fall foul of all sorts of laws.

Since when? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827963)

At what point did publicly being an ass**** become a crime in the UK? And how can they possibly afford enough courts, judges, and prison cells to prosecute that many people?

Re:Since when? (3, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40828085)

When you threaten to kill people?

@_ollyriley come on then you cunt i’ll stick a knife down your fuckin throat now comeback and stop hiding from me

@theroycropper do you want me to come to your fucking house now with a rope and strangle you with it

Re:Since when? (-1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40828243)

Yes, let's arrest everyone who has ever uttered a threat even if they did not mean it. Honestly, this doesn't look like an individual who would even follow through. I can't imagine why people who actually support arresting people for death threats would want the police to waste public resources trying to catch people who were very likely not going to do anything. Comments like these actually seem quite normal.

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828353)

Except

A) those weren't made to the swimmer, but to people who were harassing /him/ for saying the bit about the swimmer's dad

and B) he didn't get picked up for that

UK is becoming more and more a nanny state (0)

wwwrench (464274) | about 2 years ago | (#40827967)

At the same time as the arrest in this case, there is a trial going on against a guy for receiving a photo of consentual fisting: http://obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/porn-trial-this-time-its-extreme.html [blogspot.co.uk] And we also had the trial against Paul Chambers for tweeting a bomb joke (he was found not guilty thankfully). The crown prosecution service are a joke.

Sigh... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827973)

It's worth pointing out that the idiot in question actually apologised to Tom Daley before he was descended upon by a good portion of Daley's 800,000 followers. It's at this point that @Rileyy_69 began lashing out with offensive tweets and is most likely what he's been arrested for.

Daley himself sparked the whole thing off by retweeting the initial message (which wasn't actually offensive) complete with the sender's username. IMO Daley showed poor judgement there.

There's a reason "Don't Feed the Trolls" is a meme.

Re:Sigh... (2)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 years ago | (#40828421)

Daley himself sparked the whole thing off by retweeting the initial message (which wasn't actually offensive)

And there was me thinking that telling someone they let their Dad down when their Dad died less than a year before was out of line.

I guess I'm just too sensitive.

Np such thing as free s[eech (-1, Flamebait)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#40827977)

England doesn't have the first amendment

I was thinking of joining Twitter, but it doesn't seem like a good idea now...

UK doesn't have the US constitution either (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 2 years ago | (#40828187)

The UK having the First Amendment to the United States Constitution would suppose that the United States Constitution applies to the UK. It does not. While some may muse about how much influence the USA has politically over the UK, the UK does have its own legal system. However, it does not have a written constitution [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Np such thing as free s[eech (4, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#40828209)

You're right that England isn't covered by American laws. Why should it be? It seems you're yet another typical American who's never been anywhere and 100% believes the propaganda your schools and TV brainwashes you with that US == the world.

I've lived in both countries and you really think people are 'freer' to speak their minds in the US than the UK? Thats laughable.

You need to check your facts too:
Free speech has long been recognised as a common law right in Britain, it also has a statutory basis in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which has been incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act.

Re:Np such thing as free s[eech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828313)

Saying death threats to specific people in a public area would get you arrested in the US. Just saying. The fact that the medium was Twitter is neither here nor there. The guy made specific, targeted threats to kill, one at Tom Daley, and then many to other people.

Tom Daley should have ignored the tweet as a troll, but to be honest there is nothing wrong with responding and calling out the troll as he did.

Trolling on Twitter == Arrest. (2)

hattig (47930) | about 2 years ago | (#40827983)

This is clearly some 17 year old kid shit talking on Twitter. Just a troll. Getting the police involved is ridiculous, unless he was to continue to do it (i.e., harrassment).

Then again, judging from the other tweets this kid has done, he has some serious problems. Some form of Twitter-Tourettes at least.

Hopefully the police will drop it, but the experience will cause the idiot to grow up. Haha, unlikely.

In other news, Jan Moir of the nasty UK "news"paper the Daily Mail can write things about athletes being bitches without any police getting involved. This is real personal abuse. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/07/jan-moir-olympics-marianne-vos-some-bitch-from-holland-lizzie-armitstead/ [politicalscrapbook.net]

Re:Trolling on Twitter == Arrest. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40828311)

Given that the guy tweeted a death threat ("I'm going to find you and I'm going to drown you in the pool"), I see the police intervention as needed. Even if the threat wasn't meant seriously, I think every death threat *should* be taken seriously. Saying you're going to kill someone in a public forum is just idiotic whether or not you actually meant it. And even though he deleted the tweet, the threat was still made.

Let the police investigate and, if this guy was just being an idiot, give him a good scare. Maybe he won't harass people online anymore.

Re:Trolling on Twitter == Arrest. (1)

hattig (47930) | about 2 years ago | (#40828397)

Having read more about it, I agree, the police have to get involved when threats are made that this guy did. Yes, in this case it's a shit talking 17 year old. Next time it could be someone who will actually follow through with the threat. Gotta check 'em all.

good post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40827993)

my co-worker's mom made $20080 the prior week. she works on the computer and got a $314600 home. All she did was get blessed and put to use the clues written on this website http://goo.gl/TyIY9

Ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828009)

Americans and Brits, the stupidiest people on Earth.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828037)

*stupidest

Jeremy Clarkson (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 2 years ago | (#40828021)

If this is true, why haven't they arrested Jeremy Clarkson for his comments about Mitt Romney? [jalopnik.com]

Re:Jeremy Clarkson (3, Informative)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#40828109)

Because, if the Twitter joke trial has taught us anything, it's that there is an important difference between comments made in jest and actual, serious threats against someone's well-being.

Saying "My ideas for the opening ceremony were rejected. I suggested we should crash a burning Jag into Mitt Romney." is clearly not an actual threat to carry out such an action.

Saying "Come on then you cunt, I'll stick a knife down your fukkin throat now comeback and stop hiding from me" can be more reasonably seen as an actual threat, context permitting.

The police have overreacted by arresting him, but the accuracy of the reporting of the incident by the media has been astonishingly poor.

Re:Jeremy Clarkson (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40828179)

Because only someone butthurt and humorless would think that Jeremy was making a real threat? That's a far cry from the person talked about in this article that threatened to strangle and stab people.

Re:Jeremy Clarkson (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40828377)

I have trouble believing anyone could seriously believe even this guy was anything more than what is known as an "internet tough guy."

Re:Jeremy Clarkson (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#40828235)

If this is true, why haven't they arrested Jeremy Clarkson for his comments about Mitt Romney? [jalopnik.com]

Wait, people take Clarkson seriously?

Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828023)

Anyone noticed that US, UK and Aus are becoming police states?
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_state

Google need to update their map.

Guantanamo and the WMD debacle were the thin edge of the wedge.

PRIORITIES! (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#40828031)

Typical Britain.

With the streets being as lawless as they are -- and Friday nights resembling a war zone -- with nary a policeman in sight, you would think the police have better things to do.

The fat, retarded idiots in charge have seen fit to cut police funding by 20% and privatising everything in sight to their fat, retarded corporate cronies at G4S and Serco. Yet they find time to crack down on "fashionable" crimes, like saying rude things on Twitter.

The mind boggles.

bizNatch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828055)

Stupid. TO the

He's a jerk (1)

Sideblinded (2654671) | about 2 years ago | (#40828079)

He may be a jerk, but he's not a criminal. Ridiculous.

why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828089)

you guys were all over that indian guy who said something about the gay guy. Why should this classless moron be treated any differently? Oh I get it..

Mary Poppins + DHS nurses (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#40828119)

Any wonder it's the "Nanny State" ?

Tweets were directed at Daley (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 years ago | (#40828127)

I think the biggest problem was that the tweets were directed at Daley, rather than just being written on the teenager's feed.

Daley was clearly upset about it which is why he re-tweeted the comment which was then re-tweeted by his followers (including several celebrities).

Frankly I was very disgusted when I read what the teenager had written. Losing your father when you're only 18 sucks enough without some twat goading you over it.

Quick thank you to editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828157)

My original submission ambiguously implied that Duffy's /convictions/ were made under Scots law - for he was recently sentenced in Scotland to community service.

But his 2011 convictions were, of course, in England. Good spot!

Lesson... (4, Insightful)

MojoRilla (591502) | about 2 years ago | (#40828165)

There is a lesson in all this. Don't use social media. Anything you say there will last forever, and will be used against you.

And the flip side is that social media doesn't produce anything worth reading anyway. It is generally poorly written junk. If you want to contribute in a meaningful way, work on Wikipedia or write for Examiner.com. Look at me post junk on slashdot...ugh.

He didn't send a direct message to the guy (0)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40828171)

He retweeted another public tweet. Even if he did, it's not harassment until it continues after an explicit demand from the other party to stop.

Prosecution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828195)

To the prosecutor who went ahead with this... You let your dad down i hope you know that

Re:Prosecution (1)

hattig (47930) | about 2 years ago | (#40828423)

There are no prosecutors involved yet. This is the police following up on a death threat. They didn't know if it was a 17 year old kid talking shit, or a someone who would actually be a real threat. Anyway, talking shit and making threats in public always runs the risk that someone will call you out on it, or call the police. The guy should get a warning for being a complete tit, but it needed to be investigated.

Misleading headline. (1)

abgohel (2688031) | about 2 years ago | (#40828199)

" You let your dad down" is cannot be termed as "Criticism". There's a difference between the two.

Clearly a dangerous criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828211)

I'm happy that the police are involved in this. I feel my tax money is being spent wisely here.

This person should not be banned or moderated on twitter, instead he should be sent to the Gulag for trolling online.

In fact, if you think about it, trolling should be made illegal, punishable by public stoning in public football field on live television.

Of course, I do wonder why the police has not arrested all the other dangerous online trolls, are the celebrities granted some sort of biased special protection? surly not.

I feel so much safer now that this dangerous criminal has been located and being dealt with. I'll leave my front door wide open from now on.

If that twat that twitted had any sense whatsoever he wouldn't have forgotten to also mention that her mother is fat, for good measure.

What do you expect making public death threats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828213)

Apparently it isn't the criticism that was the problem, but a threat that he made saying he wanted to track Daley down and drown him.

What the hell!!! (1)

mostwanted678452056 (2597853) | about 2 years ago | (#40828233)

Meanwhile, A man got hanged, drawn and quartered for dying in the Houses of Parliament.

HORRIBLE MIND CONTROL IN GREAT BRITAIN* (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40828253)

*According to the Guardian, another (since deleted) tweet threatened Daley with drowning.

So, the Slashdot story summary is a completely fabricated pile of shit, with a little explanation on the bottom, after the preceding propaganda already riled up the prejudices and produced a cascade of comments from the usual Salshdot poster who can't even bother to read the story summary, nevermind the story, before commenting in completely contrived, manipulated outrage.

Congratulations Slashdot, you are playing the same game as Fox News: half-truths intended to incite anger, without relevance as to actual truth.

Guy threatened someone with violence, guy arrested. Common sense, end of story. Everything else is bullshit.

Both title and content of this post are wrong. (3, Informative)

Michael_gr (1066324) | about 2 years ago | (#40828285)

The guy was arrested but not for said tweet - he was arrested for those other tweets in which he threatened Daley and several other tweeters with murder. Making death threats is NOT free speech whether you are using Tweeter or cut-out letters from a newspaper. The article does mention that and says that "the law doesn't require threats of violence for an arrest to be made". Perhaps that's true but in *this* case he *was* arrested because of the death threats, not because of the abusive nature of his first tweet. The poster is clearly attempting to obfuscate the truth here.

The one thing that's puzzling is that according to the article the same tweeter first made a disparaging comment, then apologized, then backtracked and threatened Daley and was abusive to others. That's some odd behavior. Was he high? Is he suffering from bipolar disorder? perhaps someone hacked his account? I don't know

Re:Both title and content of this post are wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828369)

Making death threats is NOT free speech

It is free speech; what it's not is protected speech. The problem with arresting him is that they've wasted public resources arresting someone who is just an Internet tough guy. In other words, someone who would never follow through, anyway... Criticize him, insult him, whatever... don't waste my tax dollars arresting him.

This is just a typical Internet tough guy.

That's some odd behavior.

Probably because everyone was attacking him.

GB is becoming a lot like Hamerica (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828295)

A believe u Hamericans are happy becouse England is swimming off jurop.

I wish these sites would get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40828303)

It WASNT the "you let your father down" tweet, it was the violent THREAT the kid made against the swimmer later on. That is grounds for arrest in pretty much any country.

What an douche (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40828391)

People should be able to say whatever they want, but that's a really shitty thing to say. Intentionally malicious.

I think if the law wants to get involved, make the kid spend a few weekends in a hospice center as "community service". Monetary fines and other nonsense just don't matter in cases like this.

SLASHDOT EDITORS, DO YOUR JOB (4, Insightful)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#40828405)

Check the facts, rewrite the posts that are CLEARLY trying to manipulate you and the readers.
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