More than 1,200 people in the UK—mostly young ‘social media’ users—were actually jailed last year for things they posted on networking sites like FaceBook and Twitter, writes Philip Hodges of GodfatherPolitics. He worries that the trend could come across the Atlantic to the USA and Canada.
“We are headed in the same direction,” Hodges writes. “People have already been arrested and detained [in the U.S.] 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.”
In the UK, the arrests were for posting electronic messages that are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”
“More than 1,200 (mostly young) people were convicted last year, up from 873 in 2009,” he wrote.
“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… If you are truly offended by something someone said, ‘unfriend’ that person… All it takes is one call from a disgruntled viewer, and that’s all it takes to land you jail.”