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UK Man Jailed For 'Offensive Tweets'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hate-speech-join-the-crowd dept.

Censorship 922

Motor writes "A UK judge has jailed a man for 56 days after he posted offensive comments on twitter about a footballer who had a heart attack during a game. He's also been thrown out of his university degree course weeks from graduating. His comments may have been offensive... but do they really justify a prison sentence and ruining his life?"

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WTF? (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485371)

Can you really be imprisoned in the UK for posting something racially insensitive? Just because he wrote something about a soccer player people liked doesn't mean he should be arrested and sent to jail. What kind of wacky police state does the UK have that this is acceptable legal policy? Don't the police there have better things to do than be made to chase down Twitter trolls?

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485427)

Why -1? I dislike bonch as much as the next guy, but his post is the same as the summary with a tiny bit of outrage.

Re:WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

ph1ll (587130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485445)

He was found guilty of inciting racial hatred [bbc.co.uk] by a jury of his peers.

And yes, we take that pretty seriously over here.

Re:WTF? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485489)

Well you guys really need to get a life.

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485533)

You're idiots. I have refused to travel to the UK since RIPA. I'll never travel there again.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485603)

That's OK, I refuse to travel to the US since the TSA.

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485615)

You're idiots. I have refused to travel to the UK since RIPA. I'll never travel there again.

And now you've called us idiots you could face prison if you do come.

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485771)

You'd think a bunch of drunk limey brits would have more tolerance of people being idiots..

Re:WTF? (0)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485783)

You're idiots. I have refused to travel to the UK since RIPA. I'll never travel there again.

Not that I'm supporting a stupid law (I'm certainly not). However, if you're American, and you're making that comment, then if such laws are a complete dealbreaker, then you might need to be prepared to emigrate [wikipedia.org] .

Re:WTF? (5, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485587)

He was found guilty of inciting racial hatred [bbc.co.uk] by a jury of his peers.

And yes, we take that pretty seriously over here.

But, apparently, not freedom of speech.

Oh granted, the guy is clearly an asshole (even if he was drunk when he posted them). But I really don't think you should be imprisoned just for being a racist. He should get kicked out of school, sure, because the school doesn't want to be affiliated with someone who does that shit. But a criminal sentence for saying something? You do realize that it isn't a very big step between that, and a criminal sentence for saying anything a majority of people don't like, right? Can't have a democratic government without freedom of speech, and that includes the right to say hateful things, for good or for ill.

I realize the UK doesn't have laws protecting what he did. I'm saying maybe it should, because not having them is worse than this guy not going to jail, in the long run.

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485731)

At least he had trial. Unlike, say, the US where you can be interred indefinitely if you are a "terrorist suspect".

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485773)

better than a kangaroo court!

Agreed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485835)

And let's put this into the proper perspective. This man insuted another man. He did NOT initiate actual coercion (theft, fraud, physical force) or threat thereof. He simply insulted another man.

Government, on the other hand, has clearly initiated coercion (actual physical force) against this man, the insensitive asshole.

A real crime needs both an aggressor (the initiator of coercion) and a victim (the recipient of coercion). The real crime should be perfectly clear by now. The victim is the insensitive asshole, and the aggressor is government.

The laws of human nature trump the laws of government by definition.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485683)

Different countries have different standards. Yes, you can be imprisoned for being a racist in the UK, but in the US, well, you can pretty much kill someone because they're black and it's OK as long as you thought they were up to no good at the time.

It's just a cultural difference.

Re:WTF? (0)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485823)

No, you can't -- pretty much everyone agrees that the Zimmerman/Martin case is an example of a local police department not doing its job.

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485719)

He wasn't found guilty by a jury of his peers. He admitted his crime to the judge.

So I must again ask, what kind of wacky police state does the UK have that it forces its police to chase Twitter trolls? "Inciting racial hatred" is a nebulous, highly subjective crime involving the expression of ideas. It's too easily abused by the government. And look at the consequences in this case--he is forbidden from using social networks and jailed for nearly two months because he trolled on Twitter.

I could understand a fine, and I definitely understand getting kicked out of university. But a 56-day jail sentence for online trolling? Do you really not see the absurdity in this?

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485721)

A couple of drunk twitter posts and you get jail time?

That's maybe... taking things a little too seriously

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

leathered (780018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485729)

What jury? He was up before the local magistrates.

What's troubling is that magistrate said that his sentence had to "reflect public abhorrence". So he decided to play to the gallery and jail him instead of considering the case on its merits.

It's one piece of Blairite legislation that should be repealed as soon as possible. How long before it's extended to religious or political opinions?

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485799)

That means you don't take freedom of speech seriously.

Re:WTF? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485451)

They live in the type of state envisioned in 1984 or V for Vendetta. Don't worry though, the United States isn't far behind.

Re:WTF? (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485499)

V for Vendetta...the movie or the graphic novel? The movie was just a thinly veiled propaganda against the Bush presidency. The graphic novel, on the other hand, was actually good.

Re:WTF? (2)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485667)

Off topic (sorry mods) but:
After the last slashdot discussion on this subject I re-read the novel and re-watched the film. What did I miss? Sure they were slightly different but I didn't see them in the chalk and cheese awesome and rubbish that most people seem to. I wouldn't have picked some of the actors that they did, but other than that i don't know what they should have done differently.
I know on slashdot this sentiment will come across as flaimbait but it honestly isn't. Why the hatred for the film?

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485649)

Well there is an important difference, which is that the United States is at least nominally a constitutional republic, whereas the UK is a theocratic monarchy. Theocratic monarchies aren't exactly known for tolerance and freedom, although the UK does a better job with their theocratic monarchy than most other theocratic monarchies. The United States, for all its failings, is nowhere near a totalitarian society. It's okay to make such a comparison in jest, just so long as everyone knows you are joking.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485483)

If you live in the US, you can be arrested and jailed for *years*, because a policeman says he thought he smelt cannabis smoke coming from your house.

Have a sense of perspective.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485535)

If you live in the US...

While it is likely that the GP was from the USA, the fact that the USA has idiotic laws doesn't have any bearing on the fact that the UK has idiotic laws.

If you think the law isn't idiotic, then argue about its merits. Being worse elsewhere doesn't make a bad law good, because no matter how bad it gets in the UK, it will ALWAYS be worse somewhere else.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485547)

If you live in the US, you can be arrested and jailed for *years*, because a policeman says he thought he smelt cannabis smoke coming from your house and entered your premise to find illegal drugs.

FTFY

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485613)

That is completely wrong. You can't be jailed for years just because a policeman says he thought he smelt marijuana from your house. If the policeman issues a search and discovers a bunch of marijuana, that's a different story. But you portray it as if you don't even have to possess the illegal drug in question to be jailed for years. As for having a sense of perspective, I consider violations of free speech to be far more egregious than violating local drug laws.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485691)

no you cant. you have to be found in possession of cannabis. and in several states they just write you a ticket for the possession if it only a little bit

Re:WTF? (5, Interesting)

Petron (1771156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485723)

Cite a case where a person was jailed for 2+ years with the only 'evidence' is the cop's memory of what he smelled...

Re:WTF? (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485755)

If you live in the US, you can be arrested and jailed for *years*, because a policeman says he thought he smelt cannabis smoke coming from your house.

Really? How, I am quite confused this could happen do you have any source at all for this? Or is this something that you are making up based purely on speculation?

I mean the bigger issue here, is that you are defending censorship by saying look at that other country is more evil then us then what we are doing! You need to remember that freedom of speech is a two way street. Once you start blocking things it becomes a very slippery slope.

"We must bring ourselves to realize that it is necessary to support free speech for the things we hate in order to ensure it for the things in which we believe with all our heart." -- Heywood Broun

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485525)

The Judge involved in sentencing he is clearly an idiot. I don't know what he means by "no alternative" when clearly this guy is not a danger to the public. I don't believe that inciting racial hatred should be a crime but if you are going to punish him why not give him community service. Do we really need to be paying for him to stay in a prison?

Re:WTF? (1)

rich_hudds (1360617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485713)

Unfortunately we introduced hate speech laws a while back without much fuss from the general population.

That said I'd rather live in a country that bans racist tweets than one that locks up 10% of its young black males in prison.

You Americans. (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485393)

You just don't know how important Football is. Heck you have something called Football... And for the most part the ball doesn't even come in contact with your feet, except for an optional game play.

Re:You Americans. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485455)

You just don't know how important Football is

Are you shitting me? We pay 18-year olds to go to college to play football, including the ones who have a 2nd-grade reading level. We know all too well how important footba-

Heck you have something called Football... And for the most part the ball doesn't even come in contact with your feet, except for an optional game play.

Ohhhh, you were talking about soccer. Carry on then. ;)

Re:You Americans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485467)

Games are not important.

Re:You Americans. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485675)

Not to you, but to politicians. Almost as important as bread.

Re:You Americans. (5, Interesting)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485477)

A Gridiron ("American") football is so named because when the game was invented, the ball was 12 inches long.

Interestingly, Association football is named after the fact that it was originally played by peasants, on foot. (The comparison was to polo, which was played by rich people on horseback.)

As for the importance of our respective footballs, is the championship game of your football season essentially a national holiday?

Re:You Americans. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485487)

soccer isn't important enough to watch let alone ruin someones life for. real football takes a little more than some farie in shorts kicking around a ball and pretending to be hurt most of the time. I swear its more theatre than sport these days.

Re:You Americans. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485549)

No way we need a manly game where the players dress up in tights and protective gear. And have a good portion of the game staring at each others butts.

Re:You Americans. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485735)

No way we need a manly game where the players dress up in tights and protective gear. And have a good portion of the game staring at each others butts.

I'm a rugby fan you insensitive clod! OK replace tights with shorts and reduce the protective gear to a floppy helmet [google.co.uk] but the rest is the same.

Re:You Americans. (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485507)

Not only does our football barely involve contact with the feet, we also have a First Amendment. I guess that does seem pretty crazy in this day and age.

Re:You Americans. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485643)

How does one play a game of Football without that "optional game play" element known as the kickoff?

Unexpected (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485401)

A UK judge has jailed a man for 56 days after he posted offensive comments on twitter about a footballer who had a heart attack during a game. He's also been thrown out of his university degree course weeks from graduating.

I'm surprised that, being a judge, he hadn't already graduated. Seems a bit political by the university anyway.

Re:Unexpected (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485543)

grammer notzee

Re:Unexpected (1)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485575)

...and yet, i know both words are misspelled. DEAL WITH IT (:p)

The answer is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485405)

NO

This is what Community Service is for (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485425)

I'd have no problem if he was sentenced to, say, 100 hours of community service, but gaol time is excessive. Yes, 'gaol' is correct this side of the Atlantic ;)

Re:This is what Community Service is for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485743)

> Yes, 'gaol' is correct this side of the Atlantic ;)

You mean in Gaelic?

tha gaol agam ort — I love you (literally "love is at me on you")

screw that judge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485429)

You mean soccer? Fuck soccer!

Not the United States (3, Informative)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485431)

This took place in a country outside of the United States. They don't have the first amendment. If a person is guilty of "inciting racial hatred" and they admit to it, as is the case here, then they are punishable by local law.

Re:Not the United States (3, Insightful)

zarlino (985890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485503)

You should that countries other than the USoA have constitutions too. It might not be called "First Amendment" but there are free speech provisions in most countries.

For example, check "Article 21" in the Italian Constitution.

Re:Not the United States (1)

zarlino (985890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485523)

Oops, I meant "You should know"...

Re:Not the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485637)

The UK doesn't have a constitution.

Re:Not the United States (0)

lucian1900 (1698922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485655)

Except the UK has no constitution, and few protections for free speech. It can also be argued that this shouldn't be protected speech anyway.

Re:Not the United States (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485757)

It can also be argued that your overreaction to twitter posts is a great reason to invade and bomb your country so as to introduce you to the concept of freedom.
Doesn't mean that either is an even remotely sensible course of action.

Re:Not the United States (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485717)

For example, check "Article 21" in the Italian Constitution.

Oh my God, it's a bunch of jibberish! It uses the same letters as English, but they are all mixed up!

Seriously, the provision here:

(6) Publications, performances, and other exhibits offensive to public morality are prohibited. Measures of prevention and repression against violations are provided by law.

Is what makes the rest of the article much less powerful. That's a pretty strong loophole. Is a racist tweet a "publication... offensive to public morality"? Most of Europe has anti-hate speech laws.

Re:Not the United States (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485513)

That doesn't make such punishment any less immoral.

Re:Not the United States (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485541)

The UK is a lost cause. Unfortunately. They'll have to figure it out. I wish them luck. Meanwhile back at the home front, this is precisely why humanity must remain ever vigilant. If you don't fight and secure freedom for yourself and your children, it will be lost. The only way to re-obtain it is through bloodshed. Nobody ever wants it to come to that. Just a little known historical fact.

Re:Not the United States (2)

TraumaFox (1667643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485563)

You're correct. The U.S. has such a thing as hate crime, and there's nothing to suggest that this man couldn't have been sued had he been a U.S. resident, but for any government to claim the power to enforce restrictions on speech is disturbing and exactly why the U.S. has the First Amendment in the first place.

Re:Not the United States (0)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485697)

The US restricts speech as well. Try telling a police officer that you'll pay them a million dollars to kill someone for you and see how things turn out. All you did was talk, so your much-loved first amendment should protect you, right?

Re:Not the United States (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485811)

The US restricts speech as well. Try telling a police officer that you'll pay them a million dollars to kill someone for you and see how things turn out.

It went well 'till he found out I didn't have the money!

Even in the US 1st amendement is not infinite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485769)

There are many exception to it which can land you in hot water (the fire yelling in theater) or even make you liable in other way (distribution of picture of yourself naked deemed child porn). The things is those exception are culturally different in the US than in Europe/UK. I could watch on prime time (19h) a woman doing a strip tease showing boobs, on a public channel (Stefan Colaro show / TF1). In the US the FTC apparently falls on you like a ton of brick. On the other hand say racist insult and praise the nazi, will do nothing in the US, not so much in my country it can alnd you in hot water.

*shrug*.

Doesn't seem right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485439)

I assume there was some very specific legal ruling or laws in place that actually make being an asshole online illegal?

Not thrown out (2)

homsar (2461440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485443)

Nowhere in the article is it said that the student has been "thrown out"; in actuality he's suspended pending the internal disciplinary process (as is, as far as I know, standard whenever a student is arrested). [For what it's worth I happen to be a postgrad at Swansea]

Re:Not thrown out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485705)

Not to mention the summary states that he is within weeks of graduating, yet the article states that he was "A second year biology student at Swansea".

It appears the summary was "Daiseyed" for dramatic effect.

Free speech dead in UK (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485463)

Not just this story but other stories about censorship of the internet & television channels, indicate to me that free speech is no longer a right in the UK. That's a shame because that's where the right was first re-born in the modern world.

Re:Free speech dead in UK (3, Interesting)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485641)

It's never been a codified right in the vein of the US First Amendment, other than through the European Convention on Human Rights - which allows for plenty of restrictions [wikipedia.org] , including those "for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, [or] for the protection of the reputation or rights of others", all of which could be argued to be related to "inciting racial hatred".

Second year? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485471)

"Weeks from graduating" - but TFA says he was a second year. Do you really think we graduate in 2 years in the UK?

sticks and stones may break my bones... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485475)

and names will get you hard time.

Tweet (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485485)

Fuck you, limey bastards.

Re:Tweet (3, Funny)

garyok (218493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485519)

No - fuck you, colonial traitors!

Re:Tweet (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485571)

Now you've done it. You going to the slammer now, fool.

Limey bastard LOL

Re:Tweet (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485709)

Ha! Joke's on you! Colonial traitors aren't a recognised ethnicity in the UK. I can abuse you all I want. In fact, I'm thinking of applying for a government grant. And I bet I can get some cash off Liz too - she's probably still pissed about the whole independence thing.

Summary is wrong again (5, Informative)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485509)

Liam Stacey was not arrested for offensive comments. He was found guilty of inciting racial hatred.

He wasn't thrown out of university; he is suspended pending an investigation.

The reality of freedom of speech (at least the US concept) is that it is not consequence free speech. While the article does not mention any actual harm committed through racial insensitivity, I can only assume that someone was threatened and that the threat was taken seriously through Liam's postings. If no actual harm was committed, society does not benefit by having someone go to prison.

It's not the first time (5, Interesting)

plasm4 (533422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485527)

I made a similar submission this morning regarding this issue.

This guy is being prosecuting for making critical remarks [guardian.co.uk] about British soldiers.

These guys were sent to prison for encouraging rioting on Facebook [guardian.co.uk] .

The BBC has more information [bbc.co.uk] here.

Everyone believes that Democracy won the cold war over Communism, but given what's happening in the west today, how true is that?

Re:It's not the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485651)

if Democracy is the Will of the Majority, then maybe you're in the minority?

I'll tell you what was lost in the Cold War: Freedom

Democracy did win the cold war over Communism (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485685)

and given what's happening today... different subject

freedom is not something that is won once and that's that, close the book, it's been written

freedom must be maintained in all societies for all times and will be continually encroached upon from inside and out, from all directions, forever

that is reality, there is no better deal

Re:It's not the first time (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485787)

Everyone believes that Democracy won the cold war over Communism, but given what's happening in the west today, how true is that?

It appears that you have no idea what Communism actually is.

Re:It's not the first time (1)

ph1ll (587130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485793)

"These guys were sent to prison for encouraging rioting on Facebook ..."

Incitement to violence is a serious crime! How can you question democracy on the basis of a fair jury finding the accused guilty?

Re:It's not the first time (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485795)

Here's an uncensored video of his tweets [youtube.com] . He is a really unpleasant person and he broke the law, so he's going to prison. Yay - the system works!

And, even in the US, free speech is not unlimited [wikipedia.org] .

Re:It's not the first time (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485827)

I agree that the guy saying the soldiers should die should not be prosecuted - hate speech should be protected speech.

Encouraging a riot should not be protected speech.

And finally, trolling is a god-given right :)

A great victory for true and just liberalism! (1)

Tyrannicsupremacy (1354431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485553)

This criminal monster is now behind bars. Thank God he didnt live in a country that values freedom of thought and expression. I hope the rest of his life is filled with pain and misery. How DARE he not have the same opinions as me!

So what did he post? (0, Flamebait)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485573)

Uh.. so is anyone else bothered by the fact that the summary and TFA both don't say what he actually said? "Racist tweets" is a bit vague.

Re:So what did he post? (2)

plasm4 (533422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485631)

The media actually hardly ever publish what was written in cases like these. It's easier for the public to accept the judgement if they don't know the details.

Re:So what did he post? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485777)

They don't want to get sued for spreading hatespeech.

Re:So what did he post? (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485815)

All of us who know what he said live in the UK, and we are all in fear of being put in prison if we tell you.

not prison but (1)

armandoxxx (2484940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485583)

a year of community work and x K pounds of fine would be more appropriate ... so there's no need to feed him and still gets the job done ...

For the curious (2)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485629)

Here's what he wrote, according to the Daily Mail: âoeLOL, **** Muamba. Heâ(TM)s dead.â (I assume he actually wrote "fuck", there.)

Re:For the curious (4, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485657)

In case anyone is wondering, here's a post about what he actually did [telegraph.co.uk] .

Free speach? (1)

TheGinger (2575099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485653)

I don't agree with racism in anyway. But to jail someone for voicing thier opionons, no matter how disagreable they are is a disgrace

I think he was just very, very naive (2)

DomHawken (1335311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485659)

We had a similar thing in the UK with the riots a few months ago - there was a prison sentence of four years for someone who called for his friends to come to a riot [guardian.co.uk] on facebook, even though no-one other than the police turned up. The naivety is with the people that think it's acceptable to incite violence or make racist comments because it's on the internet. This is usually because they think thing like twitter and facebook are some big anonymous system and they won't get caught, whilst ironically in the UK this behaviour is currently less tolerated than similar crimes committed in person.

Hmm, maybe you should read what he wrote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485673)

Before commenting on what a police state we live in.

I agree it is a difficult line to draw. Maybe take the case of Sean Duffy? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-17385042

I am not saying its right or wrong, racism is terrible, and just because you are on the internet, doesn't make it okay.

Freedom of speech... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485695)

People are too over sensitive these days...
So someone voices his opinion, and you don't agree with it... No reason to throw him in jail, would be much better for freedom of speech to allow other people to say exactly what they think of this guy. After all, its only words, noone was actually injured by anything this guy said.

Don't mess with a Footballer (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485701)

Footballers (soccer players) in Europe earn millions of dollars yearly, they are respected stars. The fact that most of them barely know how to read, and sometimes behave like pigs doesn't matter, they're watched and admired, even untouchables for the elite. Especially in the UK. Considering the extremes to where soccer leads sometimes (esp. from supporters) the judge objectivity should be double checked - crazy supporters are everywhere.

free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485737)

I would think most of the slash fool crowed would applaud this. Don't be like fauxnewsers, you should be all for this on here.

Too correct the summary... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485747)

He was not thrown out of university. From TFA:

A Swansea University spokesperson said: "The student remains suspended from the university pending the conclusion of our disciplinary proceedings."

He was out of order (1)

jmb1990 (1979110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485751)

He deserves what he got, maybe it'll teach him that you can't go around saying stuff like that.

Arrest me (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485767)

Damned Limeys

Is it a private university? (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485839)

If the guy is a paying student the university can suspend him if they think so, but if it's a college funded by the taxpayers they shouldn't have the right to choose between students. There are people convicted of murder studying and getting degrees in jail but a guy guilty of speechcrime can get suspended?

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