Twitter Joke Led to Arrest and Lifetime Airport Ban

Mark Hughes and Jason Walsh write in the Independent:

When heavy snowfall threatened to scupper Paul Chambers’s travel plans, he decided to vent his frustrations on Twitter by tapping out a comment to amuse his friends. “Robin Hood airport is closed,” he wrote. “You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

Unfortunately for Mr Chambers, the police didn’t see the funny side. A week after posting the message on the social networking site, he was arrested under the Terrorism Act and questioned for almost seven hours by detectives who interpreted his post as a security threat. After he was released on bail, he was suspended from work pending an internal investigation, and has, he says, been banned from the Doncaster airport for life. “I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post,” said Mr Chambers, 26. “I’m the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine.”

While it has happened in the United States, Mr Chambers is thought to be the first person in the United Kingdom to be arrested for comments posted on Twitter. His ordeal began on 6 January when, after hearing that extreme weather had forced the closure of Robin Hood airport, he posted the ill-advised message — frustrated because he was to fly to Ireland from that airport on Friday 15 January.

Read More in the Independent

7 Comments on "Twitter Joke Led to Arrest and Lifetime Airport Ban"

  1. dumbsaint | Jan 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm |

    Tough crowd.

  2. Dumbass. You'd think you'd know better in this day and age. Moron and deserves it.

  3. OWNED!

  4. I didn't realize the police had a unit that covered Twitter post. or that Twitter was a possible Terrorist communication tool that needed surveillance.

  5. justagirl | May 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm |

    that guy needs some contact lenses or laser eye surgery or anything but those hideous glasses.

  6. It's really important while posting on social networking sites that we shouldn't play with other's sentiments.

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