Monday, September 20, 2010

Mind what you tweet

You may have heard about the guy who was fined £1000 for making a stupid joke on Twitter. He's since lost two jobs because he was convicted of sending a menacing message but all he did was express his exasperation that an airport was shut so he couldn't see his girlfriend. He wrote:
Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week… otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!
OK, his comment was ill-judged but who knew Twitter was so tightly policed? I didn't.

I've a feeling that anti-terrorist laws in both the US and the UK make life harder for ordinary people while not actually preventing terrorism. Or do you think they're worth it for the sake of greater security?

26 COMMENTS:

Clair Humphries said...

I find this over-policing all a bit scary and it makes you think twice about posting, doesn't it? Scary too that one person's 'humour' can be read as something quite different by someone else.

Love the pic by the way - so cute! x

Old Kitty said...

Well that's the thing with social networking - people think they can be themselves - give out personal details on facebook etc when they have to realise that these social network sites are not an extension of their personal lives.

I'm very sorry for that guy who lost his job and I'm also concerned at the high level of security that's too close to Big Brother for comfort but please splurging without thinking on very public online sites is not the answer! Complain to the proper authorities or use the structured complaints procedure after calming down. Or ring your friend or speak to a human being.

It's like that news early this year - two girls trapped in a cave (I think it was a cave - they were trapped anyway) and had mobile signals and instead of using it to get proper help - tweeted about their dilemma. ?!?!??!?!!?

Ok, rant over - I must go look at kitty pics..!

take care
x

Amie McCracken said...

It feels too much like Big Brother to me, but I completely agree with Kitty...why is someone writing that on twitter? I don't put personal things on facebook or twitter because I know the whole world can find that stuff. It's there to interact with people, use it that way. We're getting to the point where laws will be written because of online society...the world is changing.

Amie McCracken said...

P.S. I wonder if someone from the past were to come here how sci-fi we would look to them. No flying cars, but we all talk instantly by typing on phones and computers.

fairyhedgehog said...

Clair, I find it worrying, I know. The kitty doesn't really fit the post but it turned up when I was googling for Twitter images and I loved it!

Kitty, I agree he was an idiot to tweet what he did but I do think a conviction is excessive.

Amie, I hate Facebook because it's far too public. I hope email is as secure as it feels! Oh, and the future isn't what we expected at all but it sure is fun.

Lexi said...

Poor chap. Maybe he showed a lack of thought, but that's as nothing compared to the lack of judgment of the people who didn't just dismiss it as the light remark it was.

I've read that you shouldn't email anything you wouldn't want to read on the cover of a tabloid...

fairyhedgehog said...

Lexi, that's scary about the emails! Not that I say anything bad, but I do like to think I have some privacy!

Whirlochre said...

For every law-abiding citizen enjoying a moment of frivolity there will be a dozen jobsworths eager to develop the business of their bodies.

That's why I'm so glad ID cards never made it: all sorts of access to all sorts of places would have been denied, and not by "men in uniforms".

As for the policing of Twitter, I'm guessing people look for keywords, though frankly, it's a poor secret terrorist cell that discusses its business on Twitter.

On a separate note, one of my favourite games to play while I'm waiting for a train is to see how suspiciously I can behave in full view of the CCTV cameras. You'd be surprised what doesn't get picked up on.

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, I totally agree with you.

I wonder what will happen when they do start to take notice of your railway antics? I don't want to have to visit you in jail.

Wendy Ramer said...

Oh, my my. On the one hand, I think we're policed far too much. I believe allaying people's fear is a more realistic goal for the govt than actually preventing terrorism. That being said, who am I to say how much effect this new police state has really had on terrorist acts? Maybe more bad than we know has been prevented b/c of these privacy invading practices. I really don't know.

Wendy Ramer said...

Also wanted to let you now I've just linked this post in an email to my college students who are second-language learners and may not be aware of the power of their words.

Phoenix said...

It's like convicting someone based on a sound byte taken out of context.

It was a stupid thing to tweet, but if stupid is a crime, we're all headed for jail.

fairyhedgehog said...

Wendy, My Beloved tends to the view that the current level of alertness has prevented terrorist attacks. I'm not so sure and we tend to disagree on this one!

fairyhedgehog said...

Wendy, that's a good point. I know that swearing in another language never seems so strong as in your own!

Phoenix, it does seem to be taken out of context. It's a pity when authorities go over the top (although I believe that nothing we read in the media is ever the full or accurate story!)

Sarah Laurenson said...

I agree with Phoenix. He was stupid, but that's generally not a crime.

However, airport security was sort of like this before this war on terrorism. If you made a joke about a bomb in the airport, you were not getting where you thought you were going. They've just widened the net (quite) a bit.

Love that pic!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Off topic - how do I get an invite to Remembering Bevie? (If that's appropriate, of course)

fairyhedgehog said...

Sarah, it's a fair point about airport security.

I'd forgotten that the Remembering Bevie blog was visible - it's more like a private journal that I used to help me get through the early days after he'd gone. At the moment I'm the only one who can see it. I'm not sure it would make sense to anyone else.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi FH,

Sorry I've taken so long to drop by, but wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog.

(btw, ditto Sarah on this one).

Do you have any pet pics I can link on my blog?
:-)

Simon Kewin said...

I think that's pretty funny, actually. It's the sort of thing a lot of people say isn't it? Except we're all terrified of the dreadded Security these days so we tend to whisper it.

I do agree with Whirlochre. It would be a pretty poor terrorist cell that used Twitter. Unless it's an elaborate double-bluff ...

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Chris, nice to see you in here! I'll look out some photos of Bonnie and Rufus for you. We took loads when they were little but not so many now.

Simon, it would be funnier if it hadn't cost him two jobs. I think you're right that terrorists wouldn't use Twitter - or not like that anyway!

Ann said...

I find it exasperating. There is no comfort to traveling anymore with all these restrictions and regulations. The security has gone overboard.

fairyhedgehog said...

Ann, that pretty much sums up how I feel too!

writtenwyrdd said...

making a threat like that can only be taken seriously by authorities, but that said, it's gotten a bit crazy and entirely lacking in common sense.

But I can't say it enough that only a complete idiot says stuff like that in a public forum.

fairyhedgehog said...

ww, you're right. He acted like an idiot and the authorities lacked common sense. Exactly.

stacy said...

It's really a shame we decided here in the United States to beef up airport security (which isn't very effective as of yet) rather than take a play out of Isreal's playbook and use our intelligence agencies to better effect. Of course, getting hold of information on how just how they developed their system might prove difficult!

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, using intelligence does seem to be a better way! If only.

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