Monday, 27 September 2010

Twitter Joke Trial

Some time ago I posted about Paul Chambers who'd posted a comment on Twitter which had ended up with him being arrested, questioned, charged, found guilty and fined. Since then he's been fired from two jobs because of it, but last Friday was his appeal hearing. Again, it received a lot of press, but a good summary of the events of the day are here, in the wonderful JackofKent blog. It really does make fascinating reading, and I am astounded at the decision to prosecute given that at every stage of the process it was determined to be no credible threat.  There have already been requests to the CPS under the Freedom of Information Act to release the costs incurred so far.  This case has sparked a lot of interest in the media, legal and social media communities. If this decision is not overturned it has enormous consequences. As Jack of Kent said "#TwitterJokeTrial is a fight for the soul of Twitter and the blogosphere. Either the CPS get to prosecute s.127 so casually, or they don't". One could also say it's a fight for common sense. The rise of social media has changed everything and the legal process needs to recognise this and get up to date.

I'm glad #TwitterJokeTrial was a trending topic on Friday and I wish Paul and his lawyers all the best for the appeal.

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