Skip to main content

Twitter Goes Mad With "I am Spartacus"

The hashtag #IAmSpartacus is taking Twitter by storm as tens of thousands flocked online to show their support for Paul Chambers, the 27-year old, who lost his fight against the UK judicial system.

The quote, "I am Spartacus", comes from the 1960 movie Spartacus which starred Kirk Douglas in the role of the rebellious slave. In one scene, his comrades were asked to denounced him when captured but they all presented themselves as Spartacus (the scene can be found here); they were all subsequently crucified.

Chambers was fined £1000 for an offending tweet saying that he would blow the Robin Hood airport sky high after snow falls threatened to cause him to miss a flight.

What induced a public outcry though was the fact that the acting judge thought that what he said was deemed a menace, earning him a criminal conviction and causing hm to lose his job.

Thousands have since republished the same (or slightly amended) expletive that caused so much aggravation to Chambers. The number of tweets containing the words "blow up" for example has ballooned massively over the last 48 hours.

Chambers' case highlights the gulf between the UK legal system and new media like Twitter or Facebook. Social networking websites have often proved to be an electronic substitute for the human conscience, where things are often being said without proper assessment of the consequences.