Chambers Twitter Joke Trial Shows Legal Inadequacies Online

For a judge to decide that a man should be convicted, fined and given a criminal record simply because he wrote "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!" says a lot about our judicial system and its shortcomings.

What Judge Jacqueline Davies, who dismissed Chambers appeal on every count, forgot to assess was the context. Was the offending tweet really a menace to national security?

To the overwhelming majority of Twitter users (at least those who have decide to make the hashtag #twitterjoketrial a trending one), this sound more like someone venting his anger and speaking his mind rather than a cold, calculated attempt to bomb an airport.

The judge may have wanted to make an example out of Paul Chambers by making him a Twitter martyr with complete disregard to the circumstances that brought him to write this tweet; which in sad and symptomatic of how a politically correct, dogmatic interpretation of law can harm free speech.

A couple of things might happen; the global furore triggered by the decision might convince the government to intervene at some point in the future to stop, what some might qualify as futile court convictions, happening again.

Secondly, one can expect a tidal wave of users threatening to blow various airports around the country sky high and see how the law will react. For some reason, the Paul Chambers case reminds us of the one Gary McKinnon is fighting; unequal, desperate but so British.