Twitter Bomb Joke Results in Conviction

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 Stef dela Cruz 6 Comments

Paul Chambers used Twitter to vent. Stressed after thinking that his flight might get delayed, he unleashed this Twitter bomb joke: “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 few months later, he was tried in court (for purportedly having said something that verged on terrorism – huh?)… and he got convicted.

Does the justice system not recognize a joke even when it’s so obvious???

Science dictates that only beings with a high intellect are capable of possessing a sense of humor. Ah, that explains a whole lot.

Twitter Bomb Joke

It seems that freedom of speech is rather limited when it comes to the virtual world. The things we blurt out, even when they’re 140 characters short, just might get us served with a lawsuit. The Twitter bomb joke incident proves this notion.

So what exactly are we “allowed” to say online? Who sets the limitations? Who lays the ground rules? If you ask the president to step down on Twitter, do you deserve to go to jail? Do we start walking on eggshells and limiting what we do say online? Aside from blurting out a Twitter bomb joke, what else are considered online taboos?

Our words are our ammunition for freedom. If we can’t speak our minds online, isn’t that the same thing as not being able to speak our minds, period? I can feel an online war brewing… Good luck to us netizens.

Oh no, I said “ammunition” and “war.” Does that make me a terrorist now??? Great.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. Hi, Richard! Visited your blog. Reach in to reach out... :)

  2. there is no violation in freedom of speech. but when what you say can be a threat to humanity, yer prolly gonna get yer ass kicked, coz let's face it, people can be real crazy these days.

  3. Had this been something else other than a bomb joke to an airport, he would not have been tried and convicted.

    To those who are not aware, bomb jokes on airports are severely dealt with.

  4. Patze: So if I say I wanna kill my brother for spilling juice on my homework, I'm gonna get arrested? Hm...

    Pads: I wonder how people would react to bomb jokes on, say, buildings other than airports. Why the special attention on airports only? What if I made a bomb joke pertaining to a school? ;) I won't, but man, I wonder what would happen if someone did.

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