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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 gagol (583737)

      Which is a blatant violation of the first amendment.

      You can browse to see post under certain threshold. Don't get your panties in a bunch because you fail at browsing.

    • by clemdoc (624639)
      I assume it could have been the following [favstar.fm]:
      Spurs are on their way to auschwitz
      Hitler's gonna gas em again
      We can't stop them
      The yids from tottenham
      The yids from white hart lane

      I don't know whether I want that to be illegal but I want the motherfucker to be struck by lightning while sitting on the shithouse.
  • The remedy to unwanted speech is speech. And only speech. Any other efforts go towards some purpose other than remedying unwanted speech.

  • 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

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 Dunbal (464142) *
        Yeah, this is a clear case of the new anti-terrorism powers being abused once again. That's what happens when you give power to mean people. They abuse it. It gives their life meaning to make your life miserable, because they can. The age of tyranny has well and truly begun. It's only going downhill from here.
      • by nbauman (624611)

        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".

        I think that's it. They're trying to come up with something that will get the other side.

        It's like the American right-wingers saying, "Obama is a socialist!"

        I predict that one of these guys is going to say, "But I have a Jewish girlfriend," which is what happens all the time in these racial harassment cases in the U.S.

      • by Kaenneth (82978)

        or "I hate the Redskins"? would that be racist?

    • by nbauman (624611)

      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.

      As the American Civil Liberties Union keeps patiently explaining, there is a bright line between words and action.

      You can punish action, but not words. You can punish words that lead immediately to action, like shouting, "Let's kill the Jew" in front of an angry mob, but you can't punish free expression, like publishing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (as Henry Ford did) or an interview with George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party (as Playboy did).

      There have been times when the First Am

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My racial hatred is confined to family gathering where I can blame it on my own blood and the alcohol provided.

  • "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.

    • by rjh (40933) <rjh@sixdemonbag.org> on Saturday December 14, 2013 @02:22AM (#45687375)

      I agree with you. I get quite irritated when people in the UK tell me we should emulate them in gun control laws, healthcare laws, or their habit of dropping random 'u's in words where they clearly don't belong. Courtesy requires I refrain from telling the UK how they ought pattern their free speech laws on our First Amendment.

      It is enough to say that I am pleased to live where I do, and that I believe the evils of generally-unregulated free speech are far far outweighed by the good.

      • by Smauler (915644)

        I agree with yo. I get qite irritated when people in the K tell me we shold emlate them in gn control laws, healthcare laws, or their habit of dropping random 'u's in words where they clearly don't belong. Cortesy reqires I refrain from telling the K how they oght pattern their free speech laws on or First Amendment.

        FTFY. Also, as a UK citizen, can I just recommend you cite some statistics about gun control laws and their effects in the UK... in the 5 years following the hand gun ban in 1997, crimes com

  • Free speech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Any Web Loco (555458) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:54AM (#45687269) Homepage

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

    The British (and the Europeans) have perfectly adequate laws against hate-speech, which is what these comments were likely caught by. Just because you don't know what those laws are, understand how or why they came about, or how their application works, doesn't mean they necessarily need to be reformed.

  • Your freedom stops where other people's hurt feelings begin.
  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Saturday December 14, 2013 @03:19AM (#45687595) Homepage Journal
    I hate hate.

    Hate is the defamation of a group.

    For example, I hate those who defame blacks by proclaiming blacks to have a higher crime rate than whites.

    I hate those who defame Jews by proclaiming Jews to have disproportionate influence relative to their numbers.

    I hate those who defame the poor by proclaiming the poor to have lesser capabilities than the rich.

    I hate those who defame the rich by proclaiming the rich to have engaged in unfairly acquired their wealth.

    I hate those who say that ugly people are ugly.

    I hate those who say criminals are criminal.

    Hate is Great!

  • It is impossible to form an informed opinion without knowing what they actually said. The article does not elaborate, but it does give some general guidelines. Even as a Jewish Israeli, I have to admit those guidelines are worrying:

    Supporters of the club often chant "Yid Army" and "Yiddo" at matches, using a term deemed offensive by some in the Jewish community, but fan groups say the term is used as a badge of honor rather than a derogatory remark.

    However, the governing Football Association and police have warned that using the word "Yid" could lead to prosecution and a ban on attending matches.

    Okay, so the "badge of honor" claim is bull. These are offensive. They are not (or, at least, should not), however, be criminal.

    In my book, it is okay to ban fans who use those terms from attending plays (which is what "more speech" and social consequences is all about), but not,

  • This is a ToS violation, I've made it a habit not to cuss or flame on the written in stone Internet
    (if/when my kids search me out) the point being glad I don't do the social networks; I do have a twitter account of many years
    that I've never really used, but it's not my real name.

    I have youtube and a Gmail account that have become joined at the hip, I log on as Trax and am always asked
    if I'd rather use my real name Penny Wise :}

  • Double Standard (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mr100percent (57156)

    Amazing how people frequently bash Muslims, Asians, and Arabs in the UK and nothing happens (even full EDL and BNP rallies in the street), yet an anti-Semitic tweet is cause for arrest. Both are disgusting, but either legalize or ban both.

  • by Livius (318358) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @09:23AM (#45688573)

    Once upon a time, there was a distinction made between:

    "The Holocaust was a good idea"

    which is abhorrent but is opinion protected under free speech, and:

    "The Holocaust is a hoax"

    which is a fraudulent statement of fact which is almost never said out of genuine ignorance, but with a malicious and anti-social - i.e. criminal - intent.

    Society has a duty to respond to the latter. The only catch is that there is almost never proof of hateful intent sufficient for a court of law.

    Sadly, anti-hate laws degenerated into yet another way for weak-willed politicians to create unequal rights for a particular identifiable minority.

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