U.K. Court Overturns Twitter Joke Trial Verdict

Posted Jul 27, 2012

The U.K. High Court has overturned a ruling where a Twitter joke by Paul Chambers criminalized under anti-terrorist laws.  Supporters are thrilled because it is a victory for free speech online.

Chambers, 28, was the first person in the U.K. to be found guilty of a criminal offense for what he wrote on Twitter back in 2010.  He wrote a joke about blowing up the Robin Hood airport on Twitter jokingly.

?Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You?ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I?m blowing the airport sky high!!? said Chambers.

Chambers had 600 followers on Twitter at the time.  It was about a week later when an off-duty manager noticed the comment about the Robin Hood airport.  The manager knew it was a joke, but he was obliged to report it.

The case can be followed with the hashtag: #twitterjoketrial.  The case was taken forward and he was fined fined £385 ($600) and was asked to pay £600 ($940) in court costs.