Jail Terms for Online Trolls Lead U.K. to Reexamine Rules

You may remember a court case in the U.K. that became known, absurdly but accurately, as the Twitter Joke Trial. It involved a guy who jokingly tweeted that he was going to blow his local airport “sky high.” He was prosecuted and found guilty, but a few months ago he appealed and had the conviction quashed.While it seemed then that sanity had prevailed, it turned out the case of Paul Chambers was only the start. In the past months, several people in the U.K. have been arrested for saying things through social media that have been deemed “grossly offensive.” Some have gone to jail. And now Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions, appears to have realized that something is going wrong here. According to the BBC, Starmer is to invite Facebook, Twitter, and others to meet with academics and lawyers to discuss the issue so that new guidelines can be formulated for the police and courts.

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