In a nutshell he posted a stupid tweet (I’m too afraid to repeat it given what happened to him – and the fact that I’m a brown girl – but it involved an airport and what he wanted to do to it!), and showed poor judgment within the context of the world we’ve been living in these past few years.
Still, if you were actually going to do something sooooo STUPID as that, would you announce it on Twitter first? What special brand of buffoonery would that be? I guess it would be the brand of buffoonery that has left this man with a criminal record, a fine, and being fired from his job!
Did the authorities find anything other than garden variety annoyance behind Mr Chambers’ tweet? Not sure. He was arrested for one thing but charged with something else. He was found guilty of sending menacing electronic communication. It’s got me wondering about all our tweets and facebook status updates and what sort of messages could be argued to be ‘menacing’ and get us into trouble.
I think it is Voltaire (French writer and philosopher) who is often credited with saying something along the lines of ‘I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’.
I won’t talk now about whether we should all say whatever we like, whenever we like – I believe in shades of grey – but I do think that authorities ought to consider their reactions and try to keep them reasonable – and not be quite so heavy-handed against individuals. Mr Chambers claims he’s been left terrified to speak his mind and has had his civil liberties trampled on. If you want, you can read about his experiences here http://tiny.cc/yi04f