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UK Man Arrested For Offensive Joke Posted On Facebook 606

An anonymous reader writes "A tasteless joke posted on Facebook saw a man arrested in the UK under section 127 of the Communications Act, for sending a public electronic communication which is 'grossly offensive'. Matthew Wood, 20, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, UK will appear before Chorley Magistrates' Court on Monday."
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UK Man Arrested For Offensive Joke Posted On Facebook

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  • Re:context (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @04:51AM (#41582427)

    Well, that's a major bit of missing context. Can't find myself being that sorry for him, given that.

  • by srussia ( 884021 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @05:02AM (#41582487)
    In the past, this sort of stuff would have been handled by societal pressure.

    The legal codification of taboos has weakened their societal enforcement, and strengthened state enforcement--counterproductively, I would say.
  • Oh dear ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @05:37AM (#41582641) Journal

    Is that "oh dear" enough to land a person to jail?

    What is the Great Britain trying to prove?

    That one can't make no joke no more?

    I know - and almost everybody else know - that Great Britain is famous for its "stiff upper lip", but isn't this going way overboard ??

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:48AM (#41583011)

    Why would it be a case at all?

    Look at the section in the act. Sounds like some people were grossly offended by this joke which concerns 5 year old girl who is assumed to be murdered and is currently front page news in the UK at the moment. I don't think making tasteless jokes should be subject to criminal law but the police do have grounds to make an arrest. A way to look at it is this dickhead has volunteered to become a test case to see what the limits of the law actually are. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in European courts of justice if the matter is pushed that far by prosecutors or championed by civil rights defenders.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:49AM (#41583411)

    Someone pointed out elsewhere:

    "That's apparently not what happened. This guy posted the joke on his own wall; someone else took a screen grab of it and posted it on the April Jones page."

    So he did post it on his own wall.
    It should have been a case of "who cares". but some offense junkie took a screengrab and reposted it for shits and giggles on the support page.

    Probably with some equivilent to "hey look at this sick fuck everyone, look and be offended while I bask in the joy of having brough this guys wall post to your attention, now quickly get the pitchforks"

    the world is full of self righteous assholes who aren't just easily offended but actively seek out offense and make sure to tell everyone else who they think should be offended as well.

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:57AM (#41583463) Journal

    I'm no fan of this particular line of laws, but what it sounds like to me is that they have the wrong person. They should be going after the person that copied the IP of the man who wrote it. After all, did he give permission for that other person to use his copyrighted material?

  • by mrmeval ( 662166 ) < minus math_god> on Monday October 08, 2012 @09:20AM (#41584133) Journal

    It's such stupidity and grievous censorship of thoughts and ideas that tipped the balance in favour of staying in Germany rather than moving back to the UK.

    Your words bear repeating. I don't have the words to describe in a formal way what I've been reading in the British and international papers. I suggest anyone who has an interest in watching them slowly self-terminate read a couple of the less sensational newspapers, you're unlikely to find a UK blog of any worth and also try a French, German and Indian paper. The ones I subscribe to have an English edition.

    I consider what is happening to the individual in the article to be oppression and grounds for asylum.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM