Twitterer fined £1,000 for airport bomb joke

Be careful what you tweet

Twitterer fails to amuse Doncaster magistrates

Twitter user Paul Chambers has been found guilty of threatening to bomb Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport via the micro-blogging service - even though his tweet was meant to be a joke.

And while #twitterjoketrial continues to gain traction, the real question is this: is it okay to make a joke about blowing up an airport on a public communications network?

For Paul Chambers, the answer is clearly "no, it wasn't" because he has just obtained a criminal record and a £1,000 fine for doing so.

Crap! Bomb airport!

Chambers has been prosecuted under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for sending an "indecent, obscene or menacing" message for Tweeting:

"Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

So just be careful what you say on Twitter, is the lesson learned here.

Chambers now has a £1,000 fine and a criminal record, for threatening to bomb an airport on a publicly viewed communications system.

Was he an idiot for doing so? Or has he been unfairly scapegoated for a throwaway tweet?

This is one ruling which may have reverberations regarding what users can say on Twitter and get away with.