“If a few drunken tweets merit prison but harassment doesn’t, something’s going wrong here”

I’ve been thinking about Twitter racists and other unpleasantness. Techradar:

I’m no friend of racists, but the sentencing of Liam Stacyworries me. Stacy, as I’m sure you know, trolled Twitter users over Fabrice Muamba, posting vile racist crap when they responded, and as a result he’s been sentenced to two months in prison.

I’m not suggesting for one moment that what he did was acceptable – but two months in prison? For tweeting?

The point of the piece isn’t to justify what Stacy posted – it was vile – but to ask whether we’re throwing the book at the right people.  As I’ve said in the comments:

It’s an interesting area of law: how do you protect free speech (even if you loathe that speech with every fibre of your being) while cracking down on the harassers and scum like the people who troll the recently bereaved?

I don’t know what the answers are. Fines? Community service among the communities being abused? Electronic ASBOs and cyber-curfews banning them from social media?



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