#IamSpartacus Campaign Supports Airplane Bomb Jokester

#IamSpartacus Campaign Supports Airplane Bomb Jokester

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An Englishman made a joking threat that he was going to blow up an airport, and many Twitter-users re-Tweeted it to show support like in the movie Spartacus.

In January, Paul Chambers, 27, was about to miss a flight from Robin Hood Airport near the town of Doncaster in central England. Upon finding out that the airport was closed, he rattled off an angry joke on Twitter. Police thought that the Tweet was an actual threat and Chambers was arrested. He lost his job as an accountant and was eventually fined £1,000 by a judge who took the threat seriously. Many civil liberties advocates, talk show hosts and comedians thought that Chamber's conviction under a 1930s law to protect "Post Office telephonists" was ridiculous. An ingenious plan was concocted to repeat Chambers' original joke in support on Twitter with the hashtag #IamSpartacus. Thousands of people jumped at the chance and as of this morning, #iamspartacus was leading the trending subjects on Twitter and it still has many responding even now.

Chambers' original Tweet is not something that seems out of the ordinary for a disgruntled air traveler: "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!!"

His lawyers attempted to appeal Chambers' conviction today by saying that he shouldn't be punished for a "foolish prank" but the motion was thrown out of court by Judge Jacqueline Davies who said that the message was "menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed."

The Spartacus campaign in support of Chambers was begun by Twitter-user @christt who said, "I think we should all Tweet Paul Chambers' original joke, Spartacus style. Thousands of us. Would that work? #twitterjoketrial" He then followed it up by repeating the joke and added the #IAmSpartacus tag, in reference to the scene in the gladiator movie when all of the fighters claim that they are called Spartacus in support of their leader.

It was a hilarious gesture for a very ridiculous story. Let's hope that Chambers is able to pay the fine and move on with his life. And to never complain about air travel by threatening bodily harm ever again.

Thanks for the tip, The_root_of_all_evil.

Source: Guardian

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Faith in Humanity: Restored.

By the way, Mr. Stephen Fry will be paying the fine for Mr. Chambers.

/salute

OFF-TOPIC:

Man, Americans and their damned alarmist behavior, always being such pricks clamping down on any and all civil liberties with that stupid Patriot Act and all this.... Oh, wait. Right. Not the US.

So now all those Brits that get all uppety and talk shit about the States every chance they get to make a snide comment can exercise their civil liberties to go suck it.

ON-TOPIC:

An excellent non-violent, effective protest in which no one is hurt, nothing is stolen, and the point is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Kudos to these folks.

Robin Hood airport?

Exploding.

In a week.

Well, they could charge everyone, but they will just charge the mastermind of the support group.

Now, if only people would do it properly. I count maybe 1/10 doing it as intended.

Oh please someone tell me this airport is next to Sherwood Forest and a band of merry hobos live in near it. Maybe this 'Paul Chambers' get join them :P

The_root_of_all_evil:
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Faith in Humanity: Restored.

By the way, Mr. Stephen Fry will be paying the fine for Mr. Chambers.

/salute

What a bloody hero.
British solidarity at its finest, eh comrade?

Awesome story, I wonder if all these people will have to go to court (and pay), too.

This is the ultimate example of sarcasm not working on the internet. Cool campaign though.

Reasons why I love Twitter memes...

Greg Tito:
His lawyers attempted to appeal Chambers' conviction today by saying that he shouldn't be punished for a "foolish prank" but the motion was thrown out of court by Judge Jacqueline Davies who said that the message was "menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed."

If you assume "ordinary" means "painfully, painfully freaking dense", then yes, that's completely true!

Seriously, any ordinary person is going to read that and be alarmed? What the hell is wrong with that judge?! That doesn't even remotely read like a credible threat - what sort of simpleton would actually believe that somebody expressing ire that an airport is closed would then turn around and make a serious threat to blow the whole place sky high in the very next sentence if, and this bit is really key here, they don't "get their shit together"?

Apparently the answer is "a freaking sitting judge" - nobody planning a bombing would ever construct a sentence like that, and it is just galling that the powers that be won't admit they ridiculously over-reacted to someone blowing off steam.

News Flash to Jacqueline Davies: Any ordinary person reading what you just said now thinks you are a moron. And they are clearly right.

Gildan Bladeborn:

Greg Tito:
His lawyers attempted to appeal Chambers' conviction today by saying that he shouldn't be punished for a "foolish prank" but the motion was thrown out of court by Judge Jacqueline Davies who said that the message was "menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed."

If you assume "ordinary" means "painfully, painfully freaking dense", then yes, that's completely true!

Seriously, any ordinary person is going to read that and be alarmed? What the hell is wrong with that judge?! That doesn't even remotely read like a credible threat - what sort of simpleton would actually believe that somebody expressing ire that an airport is closed would then turn around and make a serious threat to blow the whole place sky high in the very next sentence if, and this bit is really key here, they don't "get their shit together"?

Apparently the answer is "a freaking sitting judge" - nobody planning a bombing would ever construct a sentence like that, and it is just galling that the powers that be won't admit they ridiculously over-reacted to someone blowing off steam.

News Flash to Jacqueline Davies: Any ordinary person reading what you just said now thinks you are a moron. And they are clearly right.

in legal land... ordinary people is not Joe Average. It is instead Crazy Joe.

Average Joe: Tweets? I don't pay attention to that retarded crap. I'd rather listen to the news.

Crazy Joe: My next door neighbors plug-in cell phone charger is going to kill me! I need to go bother all the politicans and law about this!

The law will over-react solely to stop the crazy people from bothering them. too bad that doesn't work.

I'm from and live in a country that has had very very few terrorist acts in its recent history, thus I have no fear from terrorism and I say: You do not do these jokes. The bureaucracy machine has no choice but to take it as true and close down the airport to search for bomb(s). On the off chance the threat is real, they're the ones who are going to be blamed they didn't do their job. Someone mentioned how this is an example of sarcasm not working on the Internet - it doesn't have to be on the Internet. My high school used to close for a day once every few months because some dumbass kid had a test it didn't learn for so it'd drop a bomb threat from a street phone. The bureaucracy machine is NOT going to even try judging a threat by the way it's written, it's going to judge it for being a threat.

That's how the world works, now you can all continue exercising in pointless rhetorics about how the judge overreacted and so on.

Galad:
I'm from and live in a country that has had very very few terrorist acts in its recent history, thus I have no fear from terrorism and I say: You do not do these jokes.

Hi, I'm from England. My family are from Northern Ireland and currently work in Saudi Arabia.

Terrorists usually don't send coded threats through Twitter. Funnily enough, quite a few don't even leave messages until afterwards.

May I suggest you look through Twitter sometime and see how many "dangerous threats" you can find there? Then inform the police that they should be arrested. While you're at it, can you inform the Police that Mr. Paul Chambers would quite like his laptop back, as they've stolen it illegally?

Galad:
You do not do these jokes. The bureaucracy machine has no choice but to take it as true and close down the airport to search for bomb(s). On the off chance the threat is real, they're the ones who are going to be blamed they didn't do their job.

All of these people supporting him would be oh so mad if their family was killed by a threat carried out by some idiot that announced it beforehand. Unfortunately, we don't have a way to tell the crazies from the sane pranksters - so they have to treat it as real.

So many of you would change your tune and cry, "Why didn't someone do something?" if a threat was carried out, your family was killed, and the announcement of said threat wasn't taken seriously. It's just bad taste to do something like that.

By the same token, why can't I point a gun at someone even if I'm not going to shoot them? I mean, I'm not really going to shoot them, so what's the problem?

The_root_of_all_evil:
Terrorists usually don't send coded threats through Twitter. Funnily enough, quite a few don't even leave messages until afterwards.

Unfortunately there are stupid people that do stupid things - and they even announce them first. There's just crazy people in the world. Go look up the news stories where threats were made and there were plans to carry them out. Everyone seems to forget about this until a big tragedy happens, then it's all the crying and blaming.

Hey, listen.

It's not the same thing as someone nonchalantly posting on the god damn Alaskan Airlines forum "I'm going to blow up all of your airports." It's some guy griping in his own personal twitter. It's hardly a joke and it's not a threat.

When I see someone spit in public, get irritated, post on my facebook "Next person I see spit in public get's a free punch in the face." No one overreacts and everyone moves on with their day.

It wasn't a joke and it wasn't a prank, it was irate rhetoric that everyone, absolutely everyone capable of some kind of anger uses in their day to day speech. I can guarantee you that some judge out there has once said to himself or his colleges "If I have to oversee one more dumbass case like that last one I'm going to light this place on fire." There's a soft chuckle and people STOP CARING.

If I see one more case of law enforcement officials perusing twitter for bomb threats I'm blowing up my computer.

*facepalm*

The Brits are intelligent alright, I'll give them that but sometimes they can slip up and make a fool of themselves just as badly as the United States can.

The US just does it on a more regular basis.....you could have a sitcom just based around the screw-ups we make....

Chambers' tweet was pretty stupid. Of course we've all felt angry enough at some time to threaten violence, but this kind of message in the public domain is not acceptable. The authorities absolutely do have to take it seriously - they can't just say "Oh, it's just Twitter, it's not real."

However, I'm sure the man hasn learned his lesson. I can understand the wisdom of making an example out of this incident (discourage others, make it easier to discern real threats etc.), but charging him over a barely-applicable law seems to do more harm than good. And I agree with the criticism of the judge's definition of an "ordinary person". I'm not terribly proud of my legal system right now.

You see, always assume the people running your legal system are mentally deficent and you can enjoy your life.

Due to frivolous lawsuits I now have to add "-in halo" whenever I make a "I'll kill you joke", usually with a humorous pause. It is funny because teachers were like Ohh you can't say that them it hit them and they made the "I see what you did there" face.
Followed by the "DON'T do that again face"
High school was cool that way. In university I can say whatever I want and most people around me either don't care or don't grasp english well enough to get the full meaning of my joke.

Sigh. Way to go police, it's scary that these people have powers TBH.

 

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