A teenager was arrested for posting odious comments about a murdered child.
Casting a picture of burning a paper poppy, a remembrance of war dead made another guy land up in jail.
All three of them were arrested and one was jailed. These are just three cases, but are lots there in the UK. British government considers offensive posts, tweets, emails, texts very offensive that there are hundreds of people being sentenced to death every year for such incidents. This rate is increasing along with the increase of the number of people using social media.
British lawyers are condemning this by saying that the laws have to change and executing 20th century laws in the 21st century seems to be a very unlawful act. Civil libertarians are questioning the government asking them if there wasn’t any freedom to speech even in this internet age, where everyone has the right to speak and right to be heard.
However, there are people who are opposing this and saying that back in those days, when people do or say something, there would be just a few people who would hear. But now everything on the social web can be heard by thousands of them.
Statistics collected from the freedom of information denotes that there while there were 873 convictions in 2009 it has grown up to 1286 last year. Since social media is most utilized by the youngsters, there are many teenagers who are getting into life-death trouble for their ambiguous social media activities.
Paul Chambers, in 2010 January was going to visit his girlfriend apparently couldn’t due to the heavy snow, the flight got cancelled and the airport was closed. On the same day, he tweeted, “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your (expletive) together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high.”
Just after one week, the anti-terrorist police turned up at Paul’s office, arrested him and questioned him for almost 8 hours, charged and fined him for huge pounds. He is now 28 unemployed and bankrupt after paying the massive fine.
Lawyer David Allen Green who worked for the Chambers issue tweeted about burning the poppy paper issue – “What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by Kent Police for burning a poppy?”
Though there are critic lawyers shouting out that these are insufficient and conflicting laws, there are people being charged under the act of Electronic Communications 2003.