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UK Man Arrested For Offensive Joke Posted On Facebook

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the you've-got-to-be-not-joking dept.

Censorship 606

An anonymous reader writes "A tasteless joke posted on Facebook saw a man arrested in the UK under section 127 of the Communications Act, for sending a public electronic communication which is 'grossly offensive'. Matthew Wood, 20, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, UK will appear before Chorley Magistrates' Court on Monday."

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The joke in question (5, Informative)

Sprite_tm (1094071) | about 2 years ago | (#41582347)

FYI: According to the internet, the joke in question was:
'What's the difference between Mark Bridger and Santa Claus? Mark Bridger comes in April.' ...yeah.

Re:The joke in question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582371)

Oh dear.

Oh dear ? (1, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41582641)

Is that "oh dear" enough to land a person to jail?

What is the Great Britain trying to prove?

That one can't make no joke no more?

I know - and almost everybody else know - that Great Britain is famous for its "stiff upper lip", but isn't this going way overboard ??

Re:Oh dear ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582767)

All of the twitter/facebook arrests lately have been totally absurd, and have achieved nothing other than wasting the tax payer's money. I thought the CPS had said that it wasn't going to pursue these sort of cases any more, but evidently I misread that.

I can understand the police investigating direct personal attacks on twitter, but this is a joke - granted, some people may find it in poor taste, but it is the sort of thing you wouldn't be surprised to hear from comedians like Frankie Boyle. It's totally absurd that anyone would even report it to the police, let alone that they should take it this far.

Re:The joke in question (2)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#41582399)

Sick, but that would be civil case.

Re:The joke in question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582447)

Why would it be a case at all?
Other than a case for punching the guy in the face, that is.

Some background ... (5, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41582659)

Sick, but that would be civil case.

For those who don't know why the joke is sick, below link will provide you some background ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19867915 [bbc.co.uk]

 
 

 
 

Re:The joke in question (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#41582403)

Yes, it's offensive and no, it's not particularly funny, but the police are starting to take the piss a little now with these charges.

Saying things that people don't like should not be a crime with the exception of those that are explicitly inciting others to commit crimes.

Re:The joke in question (0)

Instine (963303) | about 2 years ago | (#41582653)

If you were the father of this child, I'd say this could very easily insight terrible actions of violence.

The UK has excellent freedom of expression. We can mock our leaders and authority figures without much care at all. "inalienable" seems to be the problem in the the US. Freedom of speech being "inalienable" gives it an air of absoluteness. But its a subjective term. How different is telling this joke to her father, to yelling fire in a theatre. Its dangerous to do so. Even if you forget the very real hurt it would cause, even if the father/relative/whoever didn't react? "inalienable" means it can't be taken away. But "it" is subjective. Freedom to get one's point across is one thing. Freedom to hurt another while doing so (or while not even conveying anything meaningful) is another.

Re:The joke in question (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41582691)

If you were the father of this child, I'd say this could very easily insight terrible actions of violence.

Incite. And so what? Telling a Muslim that Mohammed was not a prophet could very easily incite him to terrible actions of violence. Should that be forbidden? Making that the standard just means that if someone wants to suppress your speech, all they have to do is kill you, and say it was the fault of your nasty, inciting speech. Damn, what a deterrent.

The standard the GP was referring to was actually encouraging violence - as in, a post that said something like "go and kill all the unbelievers", or, as in this case, "I want to kill Mark Bridger". Those statements should be investigated, and if it turns out they're credible as threats of violence, then punishment should be forthcoming. But banning anything that might make people mad? I think you've just violated the entire premise of free speech - if the only things you say don't make people mad, nobody's going to stop you saying them in the first place. It's entirely those forms of speech that make people mad that need protection.

Please mod parent up (-1, Offtopic)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41582713)

I can't mod since I've posted

If you have mod point please mod parent up

Thanks !

Re:The joke in question (2)

technos (73414) | about 2 years ago | (#41582695)

Superinjunctions and libel tourism seem to say otherwise.

Re:The joke in question (5, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | about 2 years ago | (#41582709)

Because who decides what is too offensive? The government? What if they decide telling a joke about the government is too offensive to them, ban you from doing that? What about if they decide jokes about euthenasia are too offensive? Ban those too?

The government should not have the power to censor speech because it gives them too much power - they are already in a highly absuable position, we need to ensure we have a way to stand up and say something is wrong, otherwise the system collapses.

Not being offended is not something anyone should have a right to. If someone wants to make a joke about someone's dead daughter, fine. It's that father's responsibility to be a mature adult and not attack them.

Re:The joke in question (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582417)

Well, I thought it was funny.

Re:The joke in question (5, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about 2 years ago | (#41582437)

This goes to show how pointless prosecuting this guy is - the Streisand effect ensures that the law is worse than counterproductive, it's actively resulting in what the law was trying to do, which is prevent these kinds of jokes being made on the internet (which is a bit of a stupid fucking law, IMO). If I repeat it, will I be arrested too (yes I am a UK national)? If not, why not?

Only one way to find out...

What's the difference between Mark Bridger and Santa Claus? Mark Bridger comes in April.

Re:The joke in question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582469)

No, because Slashdot is outside the jurisdiction of the UK so probably won't turn over your personal details. Why don't you post your full name, email address, phone number and house address just to be sure we're making the right test here?

Re:The joke in question (1)

zennyboy (1002544) | about 2 years ago | (#41582591)

I would have thought Facebook was in the same situation as Slashdot

Re:The joke in question (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#41582621)

As far as I know, Facebook has representatives on every country it wants to make some money.

Re:The joke in question (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582685)

As far as I know, Facebook has representatives on every country it wants to make some money.

More to the point he probably displays things like his real name, schools attended, etc. on his timeline, so the police don't have to subpoena his details.

Re:The joke in question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582661)

About to be disappeared in 3... 2... 1.

Re:The joke in question (5, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | about 2 years ago | (#41582729)

It's not counterproductive as they see it. They want you, the public, to know that if they want to get you they will get you. They are being bullies, not custodians of the law. They already got their intended chilling effect by making an example of this guy, and now everyone will be a little more nervous about what they post online - they don't need to prosecute you as well. But they might, and if a law is being applied selectively it should not be applied at all.

Re:The joke in question (1, Redundant)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41582475)

It is a sick joke but a smack in the mouth would be a more appropriate response...

Re:The joke in question (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#41582645)

This would be an "cruel and unusual punishment" and thus not allowed. If done anyway, it would amount to grievous bodily harm.

Re:The joke in question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582555)

This is nothing new (this type of joke on the internet), this type of thing is posted 10 times a day on sickipedia.org, infact doing a quick search for Mark Bridger I found the joke right away along with others.
So what's next? Sickipedia and similar sites admins will be arrested and the sites taken down?
This is an injustice of free speech and appalling waste of police resources, go and find some real criminals!

Re:The joke in question (1)

alendit (1454311) | about 2 years ago | (#41582585)

Oh dear, 4chan shold be collectively jailed any moment now...

Re:The joke in question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582689)

A few of my friends have posted Jimmy Savile jokes that are only marginally less offensive than this. This really is getting fucking ridiculous.

context (1)

chewy_fruit_loop (320844) | about 2 years ago | (#41582363)

for context....
the guy the joke is about has just been charged with the abduction and murder of a 5 year old girl

Re:context (3, Funny)

slimdave (710334) | about 2 years ago | (#41582365)

For further context, if needed, the 5 year old's name is "April"

Re:context (4, Funny)

Rosy At Random (820255) | about 2 years ago | (#41582521)

For further context, Santa Claus is a mythological character associated with a holiday.

Re:context (1, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41582549)

For further context, "comes" is in this case a double entendre implying both physical arrival, and ejaculation/orgasm.

Re:context (5, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41582539)

and for more context, it was still a better love story than Twilight.

Re:context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582369)

And the girls name is April for that matter...

Re:context (5, Insightful)

kraut (2788) | about 2 years ago | (#41582375)

which would have been hard to miss for anyone in the UK, given the saturation coverage this has been receiving.

Yeah, it's a sick joke. But being offensive shouldn't be a crime.

Re:context (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41582389)

I'm not sure where I am on whether or not that should be a crime, but I would like to point out that April's parents probably had their guts turn inside out upon hearing that remark.

If I were the one with the gavel, my first instinct would be to let him sweat the fear of jail for a few days then drop the case.

Re:context (5, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | about 2 years ago | (#41582451)

Is it tasteless to make such a joke in front of that audience? Probably.
Should the police and a judge be involved in something like this? No way.
A simple moderation action by a Facebook employee (or even the page owner) could've dealt with it in a far better way. What's wrong with a little common sense?
In fact, I hadn't heard of Mark Bridger or his case, but now I do and now I know about the joke. If a moderator would've simply removed the comment, then it wouldn't spread further. Now it does.

Re:context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582615)

UK judges don't have gavels.

Re:context (1, Troll)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41582757)

but I would like to point out that April's parents probably had their guts turn inside out upon hearing that remark.

which they probably wouldn't of read/heard. if noone made a big deal about it.

regardless. if he'd posted this on their wall/sent private messages to them regarding this then i could concede that he was harassing them and should be dealt with accordingly. i can't tell if that's the case as it seems difficult to find out much about this case(i haven't looked all that hard) if he had posted this on his own wall however. then fuck you to anyone that believes he should be punished in any way. he's done nothing wrong.

if you were offended by this (what i actually find to be quite clever) joke, then you should probably learn to understand communication. sentences/statements usually do not mean what their literal interpretation would suggest.
e.g. my friends an i often say to eachother that we hate eachother(or similar) in a jovial manner. we know that it's not a literal statement, or some sort of passive aggressive dig, but it means that we are comfortable enough with eachother to fell that we can be jokingly hostile without the other interepreting it wrong.

similarly this style of humour does is not cheering on whatever it is making light of. instead it is made in a manner very close to sarcasm - it's so obvisouly known to be wrong that noones saying this is right - they're merely aknowledging that this is a bad situation in a light hearted way.

Re:context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582587)

Being offensive itself isn't, well privately anyway.

The crime seems to be being offensive across a public electronic communication. I guess they see it as standing at the end of your street with a loud speaker.

But then again is Facebook even public? You need to register to get access and an account, and I guess he posted it on a status of in a group which you might need access to view.

For me it's how they define public, it sounds like any website which uses 'one to many' comms, registration required or not.

Re:context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582697)

Man, if being offensive was a crime, the entirety of 4chan UK posters would be jailed by now. Even the tame boards are offensive at times.

Of course, 4chan isn't a social networking site, apparently*, so it doesn't count.
It is only a case of attacking social networking sites to make it look as if they are doing any work. It is like the laziest of lazy policing, the absolute most bottom line. It is embarrassing. I didn't pay for this shit damn it!
I'll be making sure to write someone on this absolute waste of money. This money could have went towards finding people like HIM before things went bad. (or reaching out to people with problems and helping them)

* Technically any website with user contributions is social networking. It is no different to giving your friends a VHS and you all watching it in his room after school, or sending secret letters calling the teacher a tool. It is yet another case of things being twisted because suddenly they are online.

Re:context (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582391)

For further context, the exact same joke has been posted on Sickipedia about a hundred times in the last week, with no arrests. People go to Sickipedia expecting to see such jokes, so in that context it cannot be considered "grossly offensive".

But this guy posted it on the offical Find April Jones Facebook page. Thus, it might be considered directed at the victims, and is hence a breach of criminal law.

Re:context (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582427)

Well, that's a major bit of missing context. Can't find myself being that sorry for him, given that.

Re:context (0)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41582501)

I would agree that that would make it grossly offensive and deserving of far more than a smack in the mouth. Broken legs maybe...

Re:context (5, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 2 years ago | (#41582525)

Amazing how a little bit of extra information can change a story entirely, and it really does make me wonder why it was missed out of the linked articles and the summary. Oh - that would make it a non-story!

Re:context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582569)

I agree.. now I think the guy is a ass**** and wish I didnt post my previous comment hah.

Madelein McCann (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582561)

And if he was claiming that the McCanns were involved in the death of their daughter on a Facebook 'find Madelein' page? I'm sure the McCanns would be equally offended and use this law to silence any critics.

The idea that you can only say nice things is antagonistic to free speech. 'Mock outrage' is a politicians/newspapers/criminals stock in trade. They're always outraged! If you create a law that lets them suppress speech by pretending to be outraged, then they will be outraged.

They should have just deleted the comment and moved on.

Re:context (5, Informative)

s7uar7 (746699) | about 2 years ago | (#41582593)

That's apparently not what happened. This guy posted the joke on his own wall; someone else took a screen grab of it and posted it on the April Jones page.

Re:context (4, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41582781)

Then it would be the guy that reposted that caused harm, not the original poster...

Re:context (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41582639)

But this guy posted it on the offical Find April Jones Facebook page. Thus, it might be considered directed at the victims, and is hence a breach of criminal law.

That does make a difference. But I can't easily find a cite for this - do you have one? All I read is that he posted "on Facebook," but no-one's going into specifics.

Re:context (0)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41582783)

Further context, the entire fucking world went apeshit because the police in Russia arrested 3 women for conducting a tasteless stunt in a church probably definitely offending a shitload of religious Russians. Personally I think they were overboard, rude, and were disrespectful of the church and the congregation for doing that. But I don't think they deserved to be put in prison over it. Slap upside the head maybe.

Now we have some fucking knob thrown in jail for making a tasteless joke about some poor family's child. Why isn't the world going apeshit now? Offensive is offensive. Or is it if you offend a church it is OK? I think it is in poor taste. I don't think he should go to jail. I think he should be restrained and allow the child's mother to deliver a short sharp shock (or 4 or 5) to the guy. In public for his humiliation (the sad thing is this is what he deserves, but then they'd arrest the family too... there is no justice system anymore, just a legal system). But jail? Fuckoff already. It is no wonder Orwell and his book originated in England. Canada and it's censorship/hate speech laws aren't far behind.

I don't think it is right to purposely go somewhere and say or do something just to be offensive. That is, where being offensive is the point of the endeavour. I know we can all say stuff that offends some people. But it's not usually like a verbal goatse. I'm not going to just start in on 'the aristocrats' in a mall so parents freak and run away with their children and old folks have a stroke. In the right company however, I will and have given it a good shot.

Regardless of all that. Unless the person is being a genuine non-stop troll whether online or in real life, jail is way over the top. Let's get Madonna to rant about this guy at her next concert.

Funny joke, related (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582381)

What's the difference from a Nanny-state with limited human rights and the UK?

Trick question, there isn't any.

Re:Funny joke, related (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582535)

What's the difference from a Nanny-state with limited human rights and the UK?

Trick question, there isn't any.

I'm deeply offended - and off to the police station ;-)

Re:Funny joke, related (1)

commlinx (1068272) | about 2 years ago | (#41582741)

I'm deeply offended - and off the police

That sounds like a terrorist threat, we are on our way. What is your IP address?

--MI5

Re:Funny joke, related (0)

LordSnooty (853791) | about 2 years ago | (#41582627)

Since when has it been a human right to be offensive?

Re:Funny joke, related (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#41582771)

There are people who find it offensive that other people use their freedom of speech in a certain manner.

There are people who find it offensive that certain other people are not dead.

In fact, for every human right, I am sure you can find some people who find it offensive that other people use it. As long as that is the case (which is pretty much guaranteed to be as long as people exist), it is a human right to be offensive, at least in those ways.

For fuck sake, not again! (4, Insightful)

kinarduk (734762) | about 2 years ago | (#41582393)

So the first thing that happens with any tragedy is that people make jokes about it. It happened with 9/11, it happened with 7/7 it's happened throughout history. Some people use it as a form of therapy. It's part of our coping mechanism.

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (5, Insightful)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#41582425)

So the first thing that happens with any tragedy is that people make jokes about it. ... Some people use it as a form of therapy. It's part of our coping mechanism.

I fail to see why a 20 yo man in Lancashire, a couple of hundred miles away from the murder and unrelated to the victim, requires such therapy.

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582457)

I fail to see why a 20 yo man in Lancashire, a couple of hundred miles away from the murder and unrelated to the victim, requires such therapy.

I fail to see why anyone that didn't laugh should be entitled to punish him. Also your 'grossly offensive' disregard to free speech should get you some jail time. At least that one is justified, you will learn why free speech is so important while imprisoned. Fuck off.

Posting in AC because of morals faggots lurking on slashdot.

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582459)

How about this one then?

"How to you call the Queen's clitoris? - Vagina."

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (1)

kinarduk (734762) | about 2 years ago | (#41582483)

Me too. However that doesn't change the fact that comedy and jokes are used in therapy.

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (0, Flamebait)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41582507)

Anyone that would write that joke on the Facebook page run by the people trying to find the little girl definitely needs therapy (or broken legs)

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 2 years ago | (#41582743)

Someone pointed out further up:

"That's apparently not what happened. This guy posted the joke on his own wall; someone else took a screen grab of it and posted it on the April Jones page."

so no, he didn't write that joke on the Facebook page run by the people trying to find the little girl.

someone else did but with a screenshot of his personal page.

Re:For fuck sake, not again! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582557)

So the first thing that happens with any tragedy is that people make jokes about it. It happened with 9/11, it happened with 7/7 it's happened throughout history. Some people use it as a form of therapy. It's part of our coping mechanism.

No, there is a clear difference. The jokes after 7/7 were black humour, targeting everyone who travels. In a sense it is bravado - you show you are not worried about getting on the tube with jokes about "people getting legless on the underground", and "you'r complaining that I lost my ticket, well last week I lost my balls" and so on. This is very different to posting something directed at an abducted and probably murdered (still missing) child on a Facebook site used by parents and searchers.

I don't think he should have been prosecuted, just widely reported as the dick-head he is - but this is not the same as the sort of coping jokes you make when getting back on the underground after a terror strike.

Facebook is public? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582401)

what happened to the whole friend exclusivity thing, Which friend did he offend and does it really matter?

Re:Facebook is public? (0)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#41582545)

what happened to the whole friend exclusivity thing, Which friend did he offend and does it really matter?

Apparently he posted it on a April support group, not in his circle of friends.

Re:Facebook is public? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 2 years ago | (#41582599)

If true, that changes things. Seems then that this was a targeted attempt at causing distress. I'm fine with a prosecution for this, but wouldn't be if he were simply posting on his Facebook wall or any group not specifically related to the Jones case.

Dear UK government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582409)

Please arrest me for i too have previously made grossly offensive jokes.

Re:Dear UK government (1)

DrNoNo (976214) | about 2 years ago | (#41582467)

Please arrest me for i too have previously made grossly offensive jokes.

Do you mean you want the state to round up all Anonymous Cowards such as yourself - or are you just hiding behind anonymity?

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582423)

Pretty sick but I'm sure Jimmy Carr's come out with similar/worse during a standup show?

Grossly offensive to whom? (3, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 2 years ago | (#41582429)

I'm pretty sure I could find at least a hundred people, who will agree with me that public displays of religion is grossly offensive.

Maybe even thousands.

Which raises the question - would the UK police ever arrest a clergy member simply for public displayed religion, or is freedom of religion more important than freedom of speech?

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582495)

I'm pretty sure I could find at least a hundred people, who will agree with me that public displays of religion is grossly offensive.

Count me in. I find all public religious display offensives, especially the very obnoxious cult of islam. Meet at the british embassy for a violent protest?

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41582547)

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

-- President Obama, addressing the United Nations General Assembly

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (1, Offtopic)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41582759)

(Score:0, Troll)

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

-- President Obama, addressing the United Nations General Assembly

How is a simple quote from the POTUS speaking to the UN, with no other comment or text, a "Troll" post?

Seems like some people want that quote buried. I wonder why they don't want people in general to be aware of it?

Strat

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582623)

I'm pretty sure I could find at least a hundred people, who will agree with me that public displays of religion is grossly offensive.

Maybe even thousands.

Which raises the question - would the UK police ever arrest a clergy member simply for public displayed religion, or is freedom of religion more important than freedom of speech?

Well, if the muzzies get their way in the UN, it will be a crime for anyone anywhere to insult islam and the Prophet Mohammed (the baby-raping, camel-rogering, misogynistic founder of islam).

Given that the muzzies view any religion, including atheism (yes, atheism is a religion...a belief based only on faith that there is no God or that there is a God...both are equally faith-based beliefs), as an insult and a behead-able offense, then any display of religion OTHER THAN islam, and even no display of islamic religion, could become an arrestable/imprisonable offense.

Google "Muslim Brotherhood The Project infiltration" without quotes. You won't hear about it in the government-mouthpiece mainstream media/news outlets.

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582707)

Breivik is that you? when did you escape?

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#41582715)

(yes, atheism is a religion...a belief based only on faith that there is no God or that there is a God...both are equally faith-based beliefs)

To which is the standard reply: "Atheism is a religion in the same sense that not collecting stamps is a hobby."

Re:Grossly offensive to whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582723)

Just so we all know, is this what you would want to happen? Do you want people to be arrested for believing things which offend you? Your statement sounds that way, so maybe you would like to clarify it, perhaps with some examples of religious activities that you think should be arrestable offences.

Too much control agenda (5, Insightful)

DrNoNo (976214) | about 2 years ago | (#41582431)

It is totally lacking in taste, it is offensive, if the first post is accurate.

The appropriate response would be to ignore it. However, in the modern UK, there is a demand to control too much of what people say and think. To me that is far more disturbing than the joke itself.

Re:Too much control agenda (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582481)

I too find an accurate and on topic first post highly objectionable.

What are the traditional morals of slashdot coming to?

Manners (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#41582433)

Yes, because manners matter when they have to be legislated.

Didn't some guy named George write a book that kinda touched on this back in 1948?

Really? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41582435)

Of that is the joke then it wasn't grossly offensive. Too soon maybe. I've heard worse in the pub and I guess that's the difference. Grossly offensive being the context of the conversation and topping each others joke. Poor man.

Re:Really? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41582443)

/Poor man - Mind you, the family may not think that! Poor family and child.

Re:Really? (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41582565)

QUOTE FROM AN ABOVE POST BY AC
For further context, the exact same joke has been posted on Sickipedia about a hundred times in the last week, with no arrests. People go to Sickipedia expecting to see such jokes, so in that context it cannot be considered "grossly offensive".

But this guy posted it on the offical Find April Jones Facebook page. Thus, it might be considered directed at the victims, and is hence a breach of criminal law.

This changes my standpoint. What a prick.

Ridiculous (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 2 years ago | (#41582455)


While it may be in extremely bad taste this opens the door to some very grey areas.

After all, how can you measure how offended I am? sure people would appeal to things like "common sense" perhaps "civility" and "morals".
The problem only becomes apparent when people start to realize that , morals are made up and really what offends you will not necessarily offend me. [freakonomics.com]

What I see as funny you may not agree with, to jail people over things which offend in my opinion borders on madness.

I wonder if this sort of nonsense is how they ultimately began public stoning, witch burning.

Big Brother dips his toe in the water.... (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | about 2 years ago | (#41582471)

While this guy is clearly a vile prick, this is a dangerous precedent.

If the thought police start arresting people for being offensive on the internet then they'll be rather busy. When I read the headline I honestly thought he posted some false hope that April had been found alive or something that misled the police investigation, i.e. a legitamately arrestable offence. Yes I would like to see this guy get duffed up/ spend a few days in jail to think about how much of a disgusting moron he is, but we simply cannot arrest all the offensive people (or people who make offensive posts occasionally), so all we can do is pick and choose. What a wonderful weapon for a police state,

" Excuse me sir, some people found your article lampooning Prime Minister Cameron for lying about xxxxxx *extremely offensive*, I think you'd better come with us."

Re:Big Brother dips his toe in the water.... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582595)

Agreed. There are large groups in the UK who want to suppress free speech, down to the point where it would be illegal to say that most "honour killings" are carried out by Muslims [meforum.org] . They claim that the truth and news reporting is "offensive", if they are allowed to have people arrested for causing offence (as would happen in Muslim countries) then they will be one step closer to bringing in sharia by the back door.

Re:Big Brother dips his toe in the water.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582631)

It's not about arresting offensive people, it's arresting people who post specific, targeted 'grossly' offensive messages specifically at/on/to groups of people who are particularly sensitive to those issues.

I'm sure this would apply to war veterans, religious groups, victims of crime, yada yada yada.

I'm sure if he has posted this on his status, website, twitter or some other public medium it wouldn't have even got picked up, but on the support group itself, it's viewed as malicious with intent to cause harm. I guess.

Thank You, I'll Be Here All Night (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582485)

Be careful what you post on the Internet -- I heard the Brits got Wood.

Taboos used to be useful (5, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41582487)

In the past, this sort of stuff would have been handled by societal pressure.

The legal codification of taboos has weakened their societal enforcement, and strengthened state enforcement--counterproductively, I would say.

Re:Taboos used to be useful (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582571)

In the past, this sort of stuff would have been handled by societal pressure.

But Mrs T said "there's no such thing as society"

Re:Taboos used to be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582617)

Mr T said "i pity the fool"

Re:Taboos used to be useful (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41582655)

Mrs T said "there's no such thing as society"

Mr T said "i pity the fool"

they do make a lovely couple though

"One can laugh about anything, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582643)

just not with anyone."

Desproges

Well, this is probably going to be marked troll (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582651)

Or flamebait, or not at all, because no-one reads AC posts

(I post AC because I couldn't be bothered to sign up,by the way, not because I'm posting an unpopular opinion, I always post AC)

When I read the joke, then found out about the case, then read the joke again I laughed, I did it out loud. I "LOL'd". I think it is a good joke.
As for posting it where it was posted, this is really difficult for me.
I am convinced if I were close to the case, I would still find this funny. I understand that some of you will say: "You just think that, but if you really..."
Well, I agree. I can not imagine what it is like to be one of April's family members, but I BELIEVE I would still find this funny, even if I can't guarantee it.

So... (1)

crossmr (957846) | about 2 years ago | (#41582671)

When is Iran going to invade the UK and the US and restore freedom and democracy?

French translation of the joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582721)

What's the difference between Mark Bridger and Santa Claus? Mark Bridger comes in April.

I managed to translate the joke in French while preserving the funny pun:

Quelle est la différence entre Mark Bridger et le Père Noël ? Mark Bridger décharge en Avril.

Re:French translation of the joke. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582761)

Haha, that's great. He unloads in April. I'd say it's even better in French!

**Where** was this posted (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | about 2 years ago | (#41582745)

Was this posted on HIS own personal wall and someone took offense or was it posted on the wall(s)? for the little girl who was kidnapped or whatever (sorry, only read half the story)

If this is on the kids wall / page, then I can very very partially understand he's at least breaking morale 'asshole' code, however if this was on his own personal page, then that's his own dumb opinion.

Anyone know? It's difficult to tell from the article.

free speech (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#41582747)

Sooner than later people have to decide what forum free speech takes. If it isn't on the net then it isn't anywhere. I want to be offended, because it tells me free speech isn't dead.

That said, there goes another nail into free speech's coffin.

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41582749)

This is preposterous.
UK, I am disappoint.

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