Twitter joke trial continues

The appeal court is reviewing the case of Paul Chambers, who was convicted of posting a “menacing” message on Twitter.

Paul was due to fly to see his now-girlfriend in Belfast, when the airport was closed due to snow. In frustration, or with wry humour, he tweeted “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 joke, or a threat? The court found that it was a threat, and he was convicted. The appeal will be heard today, and his lawyers are claiming that his message was “obviously facetious”.

It goes to show how difficult we’re all finding it to adapt to social media. Is it like conversation? Or like a letter? Can we joke? Will people know we’re joking? It can be difficult to get the tone just right, and get your message across clearly, without experience. And anyone can make slips.

How do you get your message across on twitter, facebook or email? Do you always flag a joke, or trust that people will ‘just get it’?