Arrest ensues when Twitter "joke" goes wrong
British authorities swoop down on Tweeting traveller
Airport news for Robin Hood,Flights,Travel on 21/01/2010.
A word of warning to anyone who uses Twitter or other chat and blog forums to vent their frustration. Things that were intended simply as a joke or a way to let off a little steam can easily be taken the wrong way and lead to a date with the long arm of the law.
Twenty-six-year-old Paul Chambers found this out the hard way after recent snowstorms forced the U.K.'s Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield to close. Chambers became frustrated as his travel plans were changed and decided to calm himself by making comments on Twitter, writing that: "Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your sh** together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"
Unfortunately for Chambers, his "joke" was taken seriously by British authorities. Much to his surprise, Chambers was arrested a week after posting the message and detained under the Terrorism Act for nearly seven hours.
Throughout the course of a series of interviews it became clear to the authorities that the post was meant simply as a joke rather than a serious threat. However, after being released on bail he was allegedly banned from the airport for life. However this was not the case.
In a recent interview, a stunned Chambers announced that: "I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post. I'm the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine."
We have have been contacted by Peel Airports Group who have issued the following statement
"Doncaster Sheffield Airport can confirm that this individual has not been banned from using the Airport, however the Airport Company fully endorses the actions of South Yorkshire Police with regards to this particular Airport safety threat. Comments made threatening Airport safety are taken extremely seriously at all times."