A BBC Article on Newsbeat has become massive talk today after taking into account punishments given out to online trolls and users who abuse Twitter and decide whether or not their punishments are too severe or not. It was advised on the radio that people should search for Newsbeat Trolls to come across this Trending story.
Young people have been arrested on multiple occasions for abusing the social networking site where users can post 140 character messages to anybody they like including celebrities. Sometimes users decide that it is a good idea to post something abusive in order to grab the attention of the celebrity when they are looking through the tweets they have been sent. Tom Daley is a classic example recently when he didn’t do as well as he had hoped in one of his Olympic events for diving, and a user said that he “had let his dad down”. Tom’s father sadly passed away last year. After that tweet was sent, a 17 year old in Weymouth was arrested and had his mobile and computer equipment seized.
Some other occasions have seen people jailed or fined. Liam Stacey was jailed for 56 days after a tweet he sent to Fabrice Muamba after his collapse on the football pitch was deemed racist. Paul Chambers was fined £1000 after he said he would blow up Sheffield airport in an “obvious joke tweet” after he was made to wait and queue for hours. Also Joshua Cryer was sentenced to a two year community order and 240 hours of unpaid work after sending racist tweets to Stan Collymore.
Is this too harsh? A lot of people seem to think that Twitter is a place of opinion and what is said should not be taken too seriously, especially warrant a criminal offence. Other countries have also said that the UK is very harsh with their punishments and usually other countries would have ignored what has been sent, or been a bit more lenient with the punishment they had in mind. Having a load of police officers burst into your house in the middle of the night and seize all of your equipment you used for posting the Twitter comment is a bit extreme.
Do you think this is too harsh? Post your comments below.