Terrorism Act

U.K. man convicted for Twitter ‘threat’ to blow up airport

A British man has been found guilty of sending a “menacing electronic communication” for jokingly threatening to blow up an airport on Twitter.

On January 6, Paul Chambers (@pauljchambers) was posted a message on Twitter saying, “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!!” The comment was in response to news that his plans to travel to Ireland may be delayed by snow.

One week later, local police arrested the 26-year-old at his home under the Terrorism Act, producing a printed copy of the offending tweet. Mr. Chambers is thought to be the first U.K. to be arrested, and now convicted, for a tweet.

The guilty verdict has caught the attention of Twitter, sending the hashtag #twitterjoketrial into the network’s top 10 trending topics.

Mr. Chambers has been ordered to pay $1,500 in a fine and costs.

(Published by National Post - May 10, 2010)

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