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Old 10-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
Carnivean
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Be grateful this doesn't happen in your country, Americans

So there's been some discussion on here regarding free speech differences betwixt countries, primarily between the U.S. and the U.K.

I just saw this recent BBC news article and thought it a fantastic example of UK speech laws in action.

Quote:
A Lancashire man who posted offensive comments on Facebook about missing five-year-old April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Matthew Woods, 20, made a number of derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline McCann.

He appeared at Chorley Magistrates' Court where he admitted sending a grossly offensive public electronic communication.

Woods, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, was handed the maximum sentence.

Chairman of the bench, magistrate Bill Hudson, said his comments were so serious and "abhorrent" that he deserved the longest sentence they could pass, less a third to give credit for his early guilty plea.


Source

..still unclear whether he will serve more time than the man who killed her.

Now, I'd like to know what you fellow Americans, as well as UK citizens think about this. If you support this government action, I'd be very interested to hear your reasoning, because I come from a very different background, and to me, its absolutely preposterous, even scary, that you can be imprisoned in the UK for making derogotory comments on Facebook.

So, what are your thoughts on this, Pit? Ridiculous or reasonable?
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Ridiculous. I can't see any other way around it.

The guy's a douche, sure. But if you were jailed for being a douche, there'd be no denizens of the Pit.

edit: After reading the rest of the posts in this thread, just read mine and pretend everyone quoted it and said /thread.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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Jailed for being an asshat?

I'm in trouble.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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Ridiculous.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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Read about that earlier. It's pretty disturbing you can get jailed for that sort of comment. Happened quite a lot in UK lately, people getting arrested for posts on twitter or facebook that aren't offensive at all, or people who posted things while drunk.

Shit if they were to scan UG for offensive posts we'd all get arrested, and I doubt anyone here means all the offensive, asburd things they say here.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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Let's put it this way. The dude is a moron. However, he shouldn't go to jail for saying stupid shit.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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That's fucking ******ed


Seriously though, that guys is a cunt. What the hell do I care if he gets arrested?

Last edited by WCPhils : 10-08-2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #10
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I realise it's wrong but with the people that get convicted in these ways I have very little sympathy for them.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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He should have the right to be an idiot.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #12
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That's pretty insane. Orwell was right after all....
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
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I'm all for free speech, but the problem with it is that it can include harassment, which, in turn, may drive people to kill themselves, or get to a point where they are so misanthropic that they shoot up a few schools and what not.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #14
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Didn't know you could get arrested for 'being insensitive' or 'hurting other peoples feelings'.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #15
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I would say its ridiculous... unless he was talking about him actually kidnapping the child, or knowing their whereabouts
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:23 PM   #16
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I think it's quite clear that the judicial/political establishment in the UK is struggling with the internet - the sheer number of these cases in recent years show they're trying to work out where to draw the line on online cuntery.

Which sort of highlights the problem with policing offence like this. This is one crime that I think the court of public opinion is perfectly qualified to handle.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #17
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****ing stupid, he shouldn't have been jailed for 12 weeks, even if it was insensitive.

I'm still not convinced that America is 'freer' and that the UK is a symbol of oppression like the posts in this thread would try to lead me to believe. And how is 12 weeks longer than the sentence a murderer would receive?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCPhils
That's fucking ******ed


Seriously though, that guys is a cunt. What the hell do I care if he gets arrested?

If you lived in the UK you would care. As an American, this doesn't affect you at all though. It's pretty ****ed up how a "first world" country like that can jail you for offensive things said. I've said worse shit than whatever he said on the net, I'm sure, and it's just incredible how I could've gone to jail for those comments in the UK. What is this Nazi Germany?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:36 PM   #19
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Saying things too offensive in the UK? I didn't think it was possible.

Exhibit A:
www.sickipedia.org


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Aw, temporarily down
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naedauuf
If you lived in the UK you would care. As an American, this doesn't affect you at all though. It's pretty ****ed up how a "first world" country like that can jail you for offensive things said. I've said worse shit than whatever he said on the net, I'm sure, and it's just incredible how I could've gone to jail for those comments in the UK. What is this Nazi Germany?

If what he said (and from what I can tell, it was just a Maddie McCann joke with a different name), I've probably had quiz team names worth 6 weeks or so of jail time.
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