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UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game 598

Posted by timothy
from the thought-police's-little-helper dept.
magic maverick writes "Reuters reports that three men were arrested for posting anti-Semitic comments on Twitter following the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in October, police said on Friday. 'Two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on Thursday in London and in Wiltshire, while a 48-year-old man was arrested at his home in Canning Town in London last week on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. The investigation following the match on October 6 was triggered by complaints about tweets that referred to Hitler and the gas chambers.' I guess it goes to show, you'd be stupid to use your real name or identifying details on Twitter. Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)."
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UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

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  • Again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kintamanimatt (2674243) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:52AM (#45686955)

    Wtf did they say exactly?

    It appears Britain is trying to legislate a polite and sterile society rather than a free society. People need thicker skins, not laws to protect their feelings from being hurt.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:12AM (#45687077)

    Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)."

    You could be arrested for the same activity in the US under the 18 USC 245 -- Federally protected activities, act. There is the first amendment, but there is some separation between constitutional theory, and law enforcement fact. You might or might not ultimately prevail incourt.

    (b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with ....

    (2) any person because of his race, color, religion or national origin and because he is or has been—

    (F) enjoying the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any inn, hotel, motel, [...] , or of any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or any other place of exhibition or entertainment which serves the public, or of any other establishment which serves the public and ....

    shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:18AM (#45687111)

    Not applicable. These guys tweeted something that is supposed to be so racist that they were all arrested. That doesn't do the thing you said- they weren't screaming at a stadium or anything. Also note that one of the teams is closely associated with Jews for some reason that I guess makes sense if you are British, so these guys were probably not REALLY saying anything more than "fuck the Raiders".

  • by mishehu (712452) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:39AM (#45687213)
    "Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack thereof)." -- While I am all in support of the right of free speech (excluding the "yelling fire in a crowded theater kind"), isn't it a bit pretentious for somebody not a citizen or residing within a given country to tell them they need to work at making their laws more like your own? If I'm not mistaken, in a strict legal sense, the USA is amongst the minority.
  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:57AM (#45687281)

    isn't it a bit pretentious for somebody not a citizen or residing within a given country to tell them they need to work at making their laws more like your own?

    I don't think so. Criticizing someone when you think they're doing something wrong is perfectly acceptable to me. A country isn't immune from criticism just because you don't live in it.

  • Re:Perhaps not (Score:1, Interesting)

    by happy monday (574985) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @05:20AM (#45687937)
    We don't have free action, so why do we need free speech? You aren't permitted to inflict physical harm with violence (as much as I'm sure many people would adore being able to do that), so why should you be permitted to inflict psychological harm with words? The American ideal of free speech being amazingly noble is fallacious, romanticized nonsense. Actions have consequences, and should be moderated. We should have respect for others. Say what you want in the privacy of your own home, but in public, you can be nice. It's not draconian, any more than other laws circumscribing action towards other people are draconian. Americans just have a distorted viewpoint due to associating free speech with patriotism feelings, and with their love of individualism, self-determination, libertarianism, and such self-centred, self-righteous attitudes.
  • Re:Perhaps not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @06:28AM (#45688097)

    But, if their viewpoint has no basis in fact, and is fed by ignorance, and is in every provable way either stupid or misinformed, do we not improve society in some way by preventing their speech?

    Jenny McCarthy, who threatened herd immunity, should we not stop her hate speech?

    Global warming deniers, do they not pose a threat to the entire earth?

    Am I not more civilized, for having recognized dispassionately which side is obviously correct, and silencing opponents of either truth or rationality?

    Have we no obligation to take sides?

  • by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @06:53AM (#45688155) Homepage

    Nah. If they're ordered to shut up they'll just decide it's because they were telling some sort of uncomfortable truth and then they'll play on the whole oppression thing.

  • Re:Perhaps not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @09:54AM (#45688695) Homepage Journal

    While I'm not in favor of banning racist speech, I should say that unlike some here I'm not blind to the consequences. I appreciate that you have the best of intentions and you may even believe what you're saying, but not every moral position can be backed up by a practical argument - in the end, we have to decide what kind of society we want to live in, and whether we wish to live our values even if, on occasion, there are negative consequences.

    Racism can and does have deadly consequences, and the free, unchecked, expression of racism can, does, and will in the future, allow those who'd otherwise avoid going down certain roads knowing social ostrification follows, to follow a path that leads to discrimination, violence and death, directly or indirectly. The rise of Hitler, or conversely the enforcement of the constitution against the south, did not have zero effect on the amount of non-state-sanctioned racial violence.

    As a basic example, over the last 12 years I've seen an alarming increase in the amount of anti-Muslim hate speech. This has translated into acts of violence and even terrorism against ordinary, non-violent, Muslims (or people idiots think are Muslims like Sikhs...) It's hard to believe that without a body of people claiming that most Muslims are anti-American terrorists, shored up with a litany of often dubious, and frequently irrelevant, attacks on Islam, that this degree of violence would be occurring.

    Should those who promote Anti-Muslim hatred be jailed? Of course not. That would be to undermine our values and what we stand for. But our values are successfully abused by evil people, and we shouldn't pretend otherwise, and invent bogus "practical" arguments to defend our values, which have always been moral, and moral alone.

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