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Someone gets jailed - For racial comments made on twitter? What?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by GregTheRotter, 27 Mar 2012.

  1. Lance

    Lance Ender of discussions.

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    Were non of you verbally bullied at school?

    Didn't that hurt?

    Words do hurt, and they drive people to do terible things to themselves and other.
     
  2. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Spec and that lot aren't saying they think people should be bullied, merely that the bullier should have the right to bully them (verbally) if they wish so, aslong as it remains just words.

    It's like that famous quote which is always connected to the wrong dude or whatever:
    "While I disagree with what you say, I'll defend to the death your right to say it" (paraphrasing ;) )
     
  3. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    People are held accountable for things they say (or commit to permanent record) in the real world, for example by way of slander and libel laws. Those just aren't criminal offences and therefore not punishable by imprisonment.

    The 21 year old man in question was charged with an offence under Section 21 of the Public Order Act 1986, that of "Distributing/showing/playing a recording of visual images or sounds that are threatening/abusive/ insulting with intent/likely to stir up racial hatred"

    He chose to plead guilty. Those are the facts. If his intention had not been to stir up racial hatred surely he would have entered a plea of not guilty to stand trial and attempt to prove his innocence.
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2012
  4. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Another, less happy way of looking at this, is institutions cracking down on freedom of speech in a way that even 15 years ago people would have protested against. It's certainly happening. I grew up in a country where you could express yourself freely, and with the advent of neu-terrorism, the over-reaction to it, and a country which seemingly wants to be so tolerant that it sticks people like crazy train lady, robin hood airport terrorist, and nasty facebook comments man in jail, the idea that you can exchange ideas freely is genuinely starting to dissipate. As someone who engages in a fair amount of philosophical and political discussion I'm finding that I have to start being genuinely careful in public of expressing ideas of others, or of expressing actual historical fact, in case it's heard or taken wrong by randoms around me and I get myself in trouble for talking openly (and I say this as a fairly boring political centrist with few extreme views and no ethnic prejudices).

    The final solution to a problem does not need to be state intervention, let alone the first. Schools deal with bullying, so can twitter (if they want, they're a private company, the government should stay the hell out of their business). The government's got no business regulating what people can and can not say. But they do it, and we don't have freedom of speech, and millions of people in the country are happy because no-one's allowed to say anything edgy or racist or uncomfortable or thought provoking anymore ;)

    At least, this shall soon be the case.
     
  5. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc New Member

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    From the extended definition you've given it seems an incredibly woolly basis on which to base a prosecution on.

    The web (not the Internet) didn't even exist in 1986 and obviously this legislation wasn't created with modern distribution mediums in mind -- if we are to continue to prosecute based upon legislation such as this it should be updated and preferably not in the same way as the draconian extensions to copyright law.
     
  6. Threefiguremini

    Threefiguremini New Member

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    I have freedom of speech to say what I want and you have freedom of speech to say that you disagree with me. You do not have the freedom to not be offended by what I say.

    This guy is obviously a tool but prison? I don't really think that's justified.
     
  7. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    What he talks about after 3.22 seems somewhat appropriate here.
     
  8. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    A woolly basis it may be, but:

    1) it seemed sensible for people to see exactly what he was charged with and the legal basis of that charge, instead of just talking about assumptions etc.

    2) if you determine that it is a woolly basis, does that not make you ask all the more "why plead guilty then, why not fight it?"

    The other factor that I hadn't noticed mentioned in the thread (apologies if someone did and I missed it - work commitments ;)) is the judge's comments recorded on The Law Pages:

    Now to me the grounds for passing the custodial sentence and the length of it is more of an issue than the fact it is a custodial sentence itself for a "crime" (choose to interpret it as such or not) the defendant admitted to.
     
  9. Kovoet

    Kovoet New Member

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    What he said was cowardice and disgraceful but i agree jail sentence is over the top. It's almost becoming a police state.

    There has to be controls but it is becoming a of a joke now. It feels like they are stricter on silly offenses than serious ones.

    sent from HTC Sensation
     
  10. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    To be honest without knowing the legal advice he was privy to it's pointless to even try and guess why he pleaded guilty rather than try and fight it.

    I'm not sure if it's more of an issue but it's certainly as much of one. Outrage, public or otherwise, has no place in the determination of a prison sentence.
     
  11. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Why?
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Ender of discussions.

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    As a moderator you are one of those controls, so you should know what happens on the forums if they aren't moderated....

    Also regarding being offended.

    Being offended at someones views I can understand. I don't agree with the the BNP, but I they are not banned because they express their opinion.

    This guy wasn't expressing his opinion, he was purposely attempting to upset people. Big difference.
     
  13. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    'Controls' should come from society and education, not from legislation.
     
  14. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    A bit like trying to properly debate the rights and wrongs then without all the relevant data, I guess ;)

    Now that I do agree with
     
  15. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    That's completely different. This is a private business. I kick people off the forums because the company wants nice polite friendly forums. That's their right, freedom of speech isn't guaranteed in private settings and nor should it be. If I welcome you into my house and you start to insult my sofa, I can kick you out. There's a very big difference between what a business allows you to do in their own private property, and what the government stops you doing in your country.

    We're talking about citizen's rights here, and I don't see why there need to be controls on what a person says in their own country.
     
  16. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    Well in the case of debating the rights and wrongs of sending Liam Stacey to prison we have access to the law and to the tweets that he made, not sure there's anything else we really need?
     
  17. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    Libel, slander. So if I go on my facebook/twiiter now and called the priminister a ****, does that mean I should get a jail sentence? It's one thing for the newspapers to do it, and another for an individual with no public persona/ties/i.e not a public figure.

    He chose to plead guilty because things would go smoother if he did just that. Anyone else want to plead guilty and accept jail time for saying something others might find offensive?
     
  18. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    It is one.
     
  19. Kovoet

    Kovoet New Member

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    I'll answer you with a question bud, why have we mods to control these forums ?

    sent from HTC Sensation
     
  20. Kovoet

    Kovoet New Member

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    And getting worse and worse

    sent from HTC Sensation
     

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