Twitter Can Send You to Jail

Yeah I know that the title of the article sounds exaggerated and improbable. But if you are James A. Roppo, an event organizer or Paul Chambers, the 26 year British citizen then you know that it is so real. Both of them were arrested for completely opposite reasons that incidentally involved Twitter, the micro-blogging system.

First Man Arrested For Not Using Twitter!
We know exactly how popular Twitter has grown, but never did we consider that anyone could be arrested for not using the micro-blogging service. Apparently that’s a real possibility, as teenager singer Justin Bieber and his entourage found out. Bieber was supposed to appear at the Roosevelt Field mall on Friday, but decided to keep his distance because the crowd was getting a bit too rowdy. When the police showed up, they asked James A. Roppo, a record label exec, to help clear out the crowd by sending a Twitter message, and then arrested him after claiming he didn’t cooperate, Newsday reports.

Twitter Can Send You to Jail

We asked for his help in getting the crowd to go away by sending out a Twitter message, said Kevin Smith, Nassau County Police Det. Lt. “By not cooperating with us we feel he put lives in danger and the public at risk.

In a radio interview, Bieber said the scene was “so crazy” that he couldn’t make his way into the building, adding that the authorities had threatened to put in him handcuffs and haul him off to jail. Roppo could face charges that include criminal nuisance, endangering the welfare of a minor, and obstructing government administration, Smith said.

British Man Arrested Under Terror Act for Frivolous Tweet!
After inclement weather put his travel plans in jeopardy, the 26-year-old Britisher joked on Twitter that he would blow the Robin Hood “airport sky high.” The tweet followed the airport’s closure on January 6, 2009 due to heavy snow. Apparently, he was scheduled to board a flight to Ireland from that airport on January 15.  Acting on a tip-off from an unnamed person, the police arrested him on January 13.

I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they’d never heard of it,” Chambers is reported to have said. “Then they asked all about my home life, and how work was going, and other personal things. The lead investigator kept asking, ‘Do you understand why this is happening?’ and saying, ‘It is the world we live in’.

Chambers was released on bail a few hours after his arrest and remains in danger of being tried for perpetrating a bomb hoax. Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that the authorities have banned him from the airport for life and his employer has suspended him until it completes an internal probe.

If you are reading this post there is great chance that you already use Twitter. What do you think about these 2 incidents? Do you think it was justified to arrest the 2 persons – one for not using Twitter and the other for joking about a snowfall that sounded like a threat! What do you think?


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