Twitter user was sentenced to 150 hours of community service for posting an offensive tweet

A Twitter user in the UK was sentenced to community service for posting an aggressive comment (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo/File Photo) (Robert Galbraith/)

a Twitter user The United Kingdom was sentenced to 150 hours of community service for posting a tweet deemed “extremely offensive” about Sir Tom Moore, a British Army officer who raised money for the NHS during the pandemic.

The Twitter user is named Joseph Kelly and a day after Moore’s death he posted the following: “The only good British soldier is one who is dead, burns old man burns.” After 20 minutes she deleted the post. It should be noted that Moore was knighted by the Queen for his commitment during the pandemic and other achievements.

Following that Tweet, Kelly was investigated, and found guilty in February of last year. Now came his sentence: 18 months of supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work in the form of a Scottish Community Reimbursement Order (CPO).

His attorney said his client simply screwed up and took action to resolve the issue almost immediately, deleting the tweet within 20 minutes of writing it.

“His criminality level was a post while intoxicated, at a time when he was struggling emotionally, which he regretted and deleted (the post) almost instantly,” said his defense attorney Tony Callahan.

Captain Sir Tom Moore (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo)
Captain Sir Tom Moore (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo) (DYLAN MARTINEZ/)

However, that explanation was not enough for justice, which decided to make this an example to dissuade, in the future, other users from expressing themselves aggressively on the networks without fear of reprisals.

Having heard the evidence, my opinion is that this was a highly offensive tweet.. The deterrence is really showing people that despite the steps he took to try to resolve the matter, as soon as the blue button is pressed, that’s it. It is important that other people realize how quickly things can get out of control. You are a good example of that, not having a lot of supporters,” Sheriff Adrian Cottam said, reading Kelly’s sentence.

The Twitter user was found guilty under Section 127 of the UK Communications Act. The law was originally intended to prosecute people who said offensive things on the phone, but has since been used to punish highly offensive content on social media as well.

It is not the first time that a citizen of that country was found guilty of violating this rule by harassing or insulting public figures.

There are several countries that are considering reforms for the regulations that regulate this type of content. In some cases, it is sought that the platforms assume a greater degree of responsibility for the content that they allow to circulate.

It is worth recalling the controversy surrounding section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States. In mid-2020, the US Department of Justice presented a reform, in line with an executive order signed by Trump, which seeks to reduce the exemptions enjoyed by platforms.

Section 230 is a provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that affects all online forums, which ranges from Twitter or Facebook to comments on any page. According to that provision, the forum operators cannot be held responsible for what users share on their sites, even if it involves any violation of the law.

But beyond the responsibility that may or may not be attributed to the platforms, there are different regulations under which claims can be filed for different types of damages. In Argentina, for example, in 2018 there was an unprecedented ruling where a Twitter user was convicted of the crime of slander and libel.

A woman invented a Twitter account and from there denounced a man for having committed a series of crimes. The accusations went viral and the target felt that it affected his name and his honor. So he went to court and after a year turned his case into the first judicial precedent to be aware of: posting a false indictment on social networks can end in a conviction.


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