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Creative Commons License photo credit: danhodgett

One story doing the rounds on Twitter & various other social networks is the story of Paul Chambers, 26, who a couple of weeks ago during the big freeze tweeted the following:-

“Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

Innocent enough, but it ended up with him being arrested on terrorist charges by the East Midlands Police. Whilst the press took the normal ground they normally take of “how much health & safety and anti-terrorist BS can you get? He wasn’t going to blow up any plane!”, Twitter took a more neutral stance – that he should’ve expected it.

My thoughts are leaning towards the latter – after all I’ve had trouble at airports before now. Returning from Japan I was stopped going through security at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. My crime? Having in my carry on bag two key rings that were shaped like samurai swords. Admittedly they looked sharp, but couldn’t cut butter. The punishment? A few questions & an emptied bag. The fact that rest of my bag contained a bunch of Nintendo cuddly toys saved me from a full cavity search. I’ve never been so thankful of Yoshi in my life.

Forgive my xenophobia, but one advantage I had over the Doncaster Twerrorist (not a typo, deliberate) is that I don’t really look like a terrorist. Twitter is a different story. Anybody can upload whatever they want as their avatar. Anybody could hide behind a picture – after all – do you really think that half of twitter are willing to take photos of themselves performing fellatio on other people? It’s quite plausible that the twitter avatar would look different from the person in question. Of course, would a terrorist thread be broadcast over Twitter? Probably not, but you don’t fuck about with airports.

So from me, the chap learnt an important lesson most people know about the interenet – everything is public. Yes it’s probably a little extreme, but after the Christmas Bomb Threat in the United States, I can imagine the world police are a little more alert on certain channels. That would naturally include Twitter.

What are your thoughts? Over reaction for the police? Or did the Doncaster Bomber have what’s coming to him? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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