Thousands Jailed in UK For Online Rants; Trend Continues to US

In the UK, hundreds of people are jailed every year for things they’ve said online, particularly on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, over 1,200 mostly young people were convicted last year, up from 873 in 2009. They’re arrested, questioned, convicted, and jailed for posting electronic messages that are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”

Most of these people are being charged under the 2003 Electronic Communications Act, which was merely an updated version of a 1930’s bill enacted to protect telephone operators from harassment. But even if these teens were posting things that were offensive, that is not the same thing as someone being harassed or threatened by another. Those who voice their opinions on social networking sites are doing just that…voicing their opinions. Their statements aren’t meant to threaten any particular person. They’re meant to be seen by their “friend” audience. It would be different if someone was actually being harassed and threatened directly by someone else’s electronic messages. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you are truly offended by something someone said, unfriend that person, and you won’t have to look at his account statuses anymore.

Many of these people were reported to police, which prompted the investigations. So instead of ignoring “offensive” posts, people would call the police. All it takes is one call from a disgruntled viewer, and that’s all it takes to land you jail.

In one such case, someone posted a picture of a burning poppy on Remembrance Day (similar to our Veterans Day) and was jailed as a result. A New York Fox affiliate reports:

“On Sunday — Remembrance Day — a 19-year-old man was arrested in southern England after police received a complaint about a photo on Facebook showing the burning of a paper poppy. He was held for 24 hours before being released on bail and could face charges.”

Poppies are traditionally worn in England and other countries on Remembrance Day, commemorating soldiers who lost their lives in the field of duty. I can imagine how offensive this would be to many, but should it land someone in jail for posting a picture of one online? I can think of far more offensive online images that are still permissible in the UK. They only care about the posts that are critical of their government or military.

We are headed in the same direction here in the States. People have already been arrested and detained for things they’ve said on Facebook and Twitter and even on radio talk shows. However, nothing was done about all those murderous rants against Romney on Twitter. Politicians talk a great deal about preventing terrorism and protecting people from internet child pornography. But it’s clear all they really want to do is silence their opposition…and keep the child porn only for themselves.


Comments

comments

  • Jack Rabbit

    Then it has begun.

    • Patriot

      Yes indeed. all Evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing!

    • MyTwentySense

      You will know them by the seeds they sow!

  • jag

    I'm not seeing this is trivial. Is this not parallel to flag burning in the U.S.?

    • RogerZ

      It would be similar to making a mini paper American flag, lighting it on fire and taking a picture of it as it's being lit, and then putting the picture on Facebook.

      • MARYANN33

        A poppy is far from a flag...

  • http://twitter.com/Zaklog Shawn Smith

    This administration (and its friends) has a profound disrespect for the first amendment. Look at what happened to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and especially all the "liberal" academics who were calling for his arrest. Look at how Emanuel and Menino imagined they could get away with blocking a private business for exercising free speech.

    They have far less interest in freedom of speech than in making sure that people "think right". Any time you hear people talk about "hate speech," that's what it's really about. Do I like people using vicious, racist language? No. But it's a necessary consequence of something far, far more important.

    Your right to dissent may soon be no more.

    • dewooded

      I thought liberals were the NICE people, tolerant etc...

      • vicki

        They are. As long as you agree with them.

        • honestynow

          They always seem to come across as haughty and nasty to me.

        • smartgranny55

          I agree. They also seem obnoxious and argumentative.

        • DontTreadOnMe11

          I've always found them to be flat out as---les!

      • cyberhackster

        Liberals are rectal_orifices......

        • Patriot

          That's where they carry their brains, don't you know :)

        • BUD

          SORRY, THAT POCKET IS EMPTY ALSO.

        • http://www.lewrockwell.com/ Tuci78

          "Liberals are rectal_orifices......"

          Now, now. Such orifices have a legitimate purpose. Can't say that about "Liberals," can you?
          -

      • Patriot

        Ya, and pigs fly! :)

        • MARYANN33

          Glad you know that. You don't seem to know very much...

      • smartgranny55

        Add: not too bright to your list.

      • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

        no Liberals are the new Nazis but unlike the original Nazis they have no back bone if it get's physical they disappear, im 76 and last week I backed down 3 Liberal local professors in a neighborhood watering hole. a bunch of cowardly back stabbers is all they are.

      • JulieB

        I certainly hope that you are being sarcastic. They are some of the most evil, vile, and threatening bullies that I have ever met. Only the liberals believe that they are "nice and tolerant"; they are all legends in their own minds.

      • http://www.facebook.com/roger.moses.58 Roger Moses

        liberals are MORONS! Just look at WHAT THEY PUT IN THE PRESIDENTS CHAIR.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Swancy/1508812227 Don Swancy

      Shawn, I've never heard the facts reported anywhere that Nakoula is an Egyptian, a Coptic Christian. He is also serving a Federal parole for a bank fraud conviction in California. The most shocking fact I've not heard reported is that NAKOULA WAS A MILLION DOLLAR CONTRIBUTOR TO OBAMA'S 2008 CAMPAIGN.

      • http://twitter.com/Zaklog Shawn Smith

        I fear you may have some bad information there, and I suspect I know where from (although perhaps indirectly). After this whole thing started, Breitbart had an article about how an antireligious film-maker was a million dollar contributor to Obama. If you read the whole article, it was talking about Bill Maher, who, if Nakoula belongs in jail, also belongs in jail. It was pointing out the utter hypocrisy of the left in this matter.

        As far as I know, Nakoula was not an Obama donor. If he had been, do you really think *he* would have been the fall guy here? Nah, they could easily have found someone else to blame.

        Just to be clear, I don't think you're lying, but I do think you have bad info.

        • http://www.facebook.com/njsidge Anthony Arezzo

          yes he was...

    • Patriot

      Not only profound disrespect but extreme FEAR of the second amendment!

  • TheSunDidIt

    Explains a lot about how politicians behave. They're all pedophiles.

    • Patriot

      Throughout history they have always been plagued with perverts in their ranks and they need to be routed out whenever possible!

  • monkeypox69

    One week after Obama's re-election, I received a notice from Yahoo saying I was in violation of their profiles Terms of Service. My "violation"? Using this name - "Barack The Cryin Kenyan" together with this picture:http://dancingczars.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/obama-crying-all-bushs-fault.jpg

    • Patriot

      Yahoo like Google is not a friend of free speech unless it is theirs being threatened.
      I see nothing offensive with either your Username or picture.

      • monkeypox69

        Thank you, I agree.

        • DontTreadOnMe11

          Your avatar is pretty cool too.

    • freedomgirl

      I'm sorry, but I'm laughing my a88 off over your comment and especially the picture...
      Thanks, I needed that today!!!

    • JulieB

      Unfortunately, Yahoo is owned by ABC and their articles are always extremely slanted to the left. Even some of the libturds used to call them out on it before the election. They are part of the Team Obama.

  • Texaswede

    When the American Imperial Federal Government takes to censoring my freedom of speech and tries to arrest me and others for the same "offense", the third American Revolution will begin in earnest. It will not be pretty.

    • Patriot

      You got that right! Never in a Free America!

      • MARYANN33

        We are now Obomica.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Swancy/1508812227 Don Swancy

      Swede, it's guaranteed not to be pretty...keep your head low..

    • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

      this action will make the second world war look like a weekend military excerise by the National Guard

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IGKIMVYO2JN57IHEH3S6HGLDHQ WILLIAML

    The Brits have lost their freedom of speech, I guess the only Brit that carrys a gun is 007

    • Patriot

      I don't know if they ever had any. Have they?

      • studi30

        In 1922 the British Government banned all firearms. When WW2 broke out the British Home Guard in England had not one weapon to defend England with incase the Nazis landed soldiers on English beaches.NRA members in the US shipped thousands and thousands of their own loved hunting rifles and shotguns to England never to see them again.

    • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

      no if you leave the big cities there's real people in the country like here. you have a fourth party that drew approx 14% of the vote in the last election. the Brits in the suburbs are nationalistic. I met a few of these guys their that are far from chicken shi*.

  • Nadine

    If our Freedom of speech is halted than we are a dead society! They already want to control us...and I'm sure Big Brother is watching even now. I am counting on the Honest people in this country to stop this insanity!! WORLD ORDER my ASS!

  • Jillian

    I remember in Arizona when illegals mobs gathered and desecrated our American flag, poured paint on it, trampled on it, spray painted obscene words on it, all the while screaming about "their rights." Cops stood by to control the Americans should they try to protest, but nothing was done to the offenders. One man held a big sign stating that the U.S. owed him free housing, free medical, free education and welfare money, etc. Owed?? How and why.

    The biggest question to me is how and why these illegal people were allowed to be on our soil desecrating our flag? Why weren't they arrested instead of being protected by our own police?

    • cyberhackster

      Because they are future votes for liberals

      • MARYANN33

        That is the truth!!! It is the only way then can win...

        • DontTreadOnMe11

          Not the only way they can win, they win by fraud too.

    • Patriot

      I'd rather see someone do that to them. Come on Law Enforcement, grow a pair and dish out a little curb-side justice just to let them know that they are in America.

    • http://twitter.com/Zaklog Shawn Smith

      Because freedom of speech is a beautiful and terrible thing. If we wish to claim its protections for ourselves, we must allow it for others. Were they wrong philosophically and in point of fact? Yes, absolutely. But in America, as long as we respect others' rights, we have the right to be wrong as loudly and obnoxiously as we like.

      The best antidote to "bad" free speech is more free speech. Shutting them up is the route the liberals want to take, and I've grown increasingly sick of watching their utter hypocrisy.

    • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

      the pot is going to boil over and a firestorm the world has never seen will erupt. keep pushing !

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Wilson-Kingsley/100000397000382 Ann Wilson Kingsley

    The government in the U.K. can do anything it wants to the people because the people have no defensive weapons against the State: They have no guns.

  • Floridastorm

    I have news for everyone. Great Britain is finished and has been for sometime. Taken over by third world mobs and Marxist/Socialist indoctrination of their young people have left that country in shambles. I was in London last year and found out that the government had installed video cameras inside all public bathrooms. If you liked the Soviet Union you will love Great Britain. Atlas Shrugged in Trafalgar Square and John Galt took a taxi to the airport.

    • Public_Citizen

      And so the late Great Britain ends up in the same place as it would have had Hitler succeeded in his campaign against the British Isles in WWII, except there are more third world immigrants than there would have been under Nazi control.

    • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

      cams in the bathrooms heh, this way they can watch most of the mostly perverted Members of Parliament harrass the local teenagers. see what happens to a once Great nation when you take your eye off the ball.

  • Al

    Well said, however, since this email is directed to the American people, which it is, the only Americans who will take heed and take a stance are those who already understand where we are positioned as a country. Rememblering, excruciatintgly well that the 'majority' of sponge brain Americans just don't give a damn -example. . who did they just re-elect as musli

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MRKXHL3YVLGUIBTB5IJWZLYRZE Lauritz

    What does anyone expect with a bunch of total pig Democrats in the Whitehouse?

  • Al Al

    - lim and Chief. This post will be well regarded by only those of us true Americans. As always

  • Bobseeks

    Big Mother is an even worse tyrant than Big Brother. We are all going to be smothered in her sweaty, fat, rancid bosom.

  • Melissa Frost

    I have sensed I better be watching my mouth and making sure I don't post anything that will offend or oppose my government.

  • http://twitter.com/redpens68 Gary

    If people can't tolerate being offended, they should find the highest bridge and jump off it. If you can't handle freedom of speech, too bad!!!

  • Star-Dust

    So that is how dictatorship is taking over.....

    • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

      he thinks hes taken over. lol i dont even recognize this shyster as my President, it will be a cold day in hell before id respect or tolerate him, go back to Kenya you pimp!

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    Quite correct, all you crazies out there. They're monitoring every keystroke in their Utah super-facility, so they can come after you for anything you post that 'goes over the line'. And they define what's 'over the line'.
    Buh-bye, 1st amendment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ed-Scott/100002103340101 Ed Scott

    Ah, speaking of the Left and it's tolerance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.merry.501 Ron Merry

    Alas. the America I know and love is slowly being eaten away by the left. It is a sad situation that I expect will get worse as time goes by. Glad I am an old timer who may not be around to see this country come apart at the seams. It has begun in earnest with the relection of the pretender in chief. I am a twenty year veteran of the USCG and as much as it pains me to say it Obama is not my President. I will remain steadfast in my support of the conservative agenda as this is still my country!

  • So into the night !

    As a former British Citizen living outside of that country for over sixty years, their present Government is nervous of losing more liberal tending votes although ostensibly they are a "Conservative Party" Government. Hence, to cling on to power, they pander to all immigrants, legal and illegal, this is to protect the Islamic Militant Masses, who will shortly overtake and dominate all other races in the U.K., certainly within 15 to 20 years if not sooner through their present Governments lack of moral integrity. The former Great Britian of the 19th Century is now the Littlest England of the 21st Century. By openly advocating mass immigration of unassimilative ethnic groups of a militant pseudo religion they are now in an irrecoverable decline. With our very own Moslem & illicit President, not to worry ! - the U.S.A. is following close behind dancing down the road to oblivion after the former G.B. On November 6th 2012 through apathy we only got what we deserved - a re-endorsed Islamic-Marxist (Communist) as the de facto head of the U.S. Government.

    • DontTreadOnMe11

      So they pander to their scum, just like here.

  • rchguns

    Welcome to a look at America's future. This administration just signed the bill that laid the groundwork for the elimination of your First Amendment rights. The liberal progressives and the Socialists that support Obama needs total control of what you read, what you listen to, what you watch on your TVs, and by all means they must muzzle the Internet.

    This administration has a hit list of things that they have to control.

    1) they must eliminate private ownership of all firearms.

    2) they must control what you see and hear in the media and if necessary control the people who provide the information.

    3) they must control the movement of the American people both internally and internationally.

    4) this is something that they've already pretty well mastered since the Democratic Party( Social Progressives) have been doing it since the 60s and that is to control the schools so that they can tell only one side of history and to make sure that future Americans are totally indoctrinated and not educated.

    Take time and look around and see what is happening at this point in time due for refill this wish list and is pretty scary! I think Obama sees himself as another Hugo Chavez, Castro, or another Qaddafi.

  • JennieWalsh

    Give me liberty or give me death. I have absolutely no desire to live in the Satanic neo-cons globalist HELL ON EARTH that they are planning to turn planet earth into. You might want to get a free book offered online. Google: Tortured for Christ--free book -----

    Now that the USA's communist dictator has been re"elected" by the leftist fools ("useful idiots"), America could very well be in for the same tyrannical torture and blood bath that other communist nations have experienced.

  • ARMYOF69

    Soon to come to our country....
    The Police State in full regalia to arrest you for using the 1ST Amendment rights.

  • freedomgirl

    I can see this happening here in the USA.
    As of Nov.7th, there are going to be many unimaginable offensive plots against our Constitution which are already happening before our eyes.
    We are on a major downward spiral, and you and I will suffer it's wrath.
    Agenda21 is in the making, fortunately the Constitution is in its way of succeeding quick enough for our so called Government. They see it as a threat to the world they want to make, therefore, slowly picking it apart in a way to make people agree with them.
    *A hate crime to speak against Mohammad.
    *Guns are a threat to all people.
    *Christians forced to accept abortion and homosexuality.
    This is Our Constitution that made us Great.
    The Government doesn't want us to be Great,
    they want us to fail, so they can save and control us.

  • PISSED OFF PATRIOT

    TRY IT YOU MFING SCUM BAGS

  • Ort

    Those who should be in jail are the urban gimme tools who tweeted about assassinating Romney. Why hasn't THAT been investigated???

  • Whatsnot illegal

    Im confused. If it is illegal to post somthing "offensive", and illegal to be ejected as an sppointed voting observer, why are teh internet posters prosectuted, adn teh Dems who forcibly removed Republican observers, locked doors, etc not also jailed? Isn't being illegal the same as being illegal? Would an Obama supporter please explain this for us.
    Hope I don;t get arrested for asking about what is "illegal".

  • Watchmanonwall

    What do they mean IF it comes to America??? It is ALREADY HERE. Remember the list of words that hommyland insecurity is monitoring in emails? Universities are no longer the bastions of free thinking and questioning, but are all indoctrination camps. yahoo, google and social media are censoring posts they don't like. There was a big one on facebutt about a month before the politbureau stole the election. Any time you hear the word "hate speech" or "politically correct" it means censored. tolerance is a one way street. Ridicule is a weapon that is very successfully used against spineless redumblicans. If you had a Romney sticker or sign, you were subject to vandalism. There is no allowance for religious or conscientious objections. If you speak, your business gets boycotted. That is just a few. I bet you could come up with more examples.

  • Jude O'Connor

    That's socialism in a nut shell.

  • http://twitter.com/jamescr54174058 james crawford

    Way to go, limeys! Stay up front and in their faces. Tell your jailer what you really think of him.

  • Hudmar

    It seems like the British are loosing their sense of Humor or should I say lost their sense of humor.