Twitter “Joke Trial” No Laughing Matter
A tweep in the UK has been arrested and fined for posting a message on Twitter threatening to blow up northern England’s Robin Hood Airport if it didn’t reopen in time for his flight. You can read the full article, including material from the New York Times, here.
This case highlights two important aspects of any social media interraction that users should be mindful of:
- Social media is, and should be, subject to the usual laws and rules of our society. A bomb threat will be taken seriously no matter the medium on which it is made. Posting such a threat on social media does not somehow make it exempt from the quite acceptable reaction of police intervention. Conversely, if such a threat was made on social media, not investigated, and then carried out there would be an absolute uproar.
- Context is lacking on social media unless you explain yourself. It is not necessarily obvious that this threat was a joke. We can’t see facial expressions, body language or hear irony in the tone of voice. It is important to understand this when you are trying to convey meaning on social media; have you explained yourself in context?
I mean really, what was this guy thinking??
From → Social Media Commentry