The Worrying Censorship of Expression on Social Media

A quick aide memoir for the future: Examples of people being arrested or convicted for stuff they wrote on social networks.

1. Paul Chambers:

Crap! 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!!

A chap made an obviously ranty joke in a tweet, and was convicted of ‘menace’.

2.  Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan

Organised riot events on Facebook.

3. Azhar Ahmed

Charged with a ‘racially agravated public order offence’ for posting an immature anti-war rant on Facebook.

On this last story: Index on Censorship notes that there was no actual racial content in Ahmed’s message; author Tony White points out that the same sentiments, expressed more eloquently by Guardian readers, went unremarked and are run-of-the-mill; and Kenan Malik suggests that Ahmed’s arrest is part of a growing appetitie for “the criminalisation of Islamic dissent”.

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