Jailed for 56 days for offensive comments? Unbelievably, yes.
The notion that the government can determine whether your speech is offensive and throw you in jail is scary. You can read articles from the BBC and other sources and not find what it was that this 21 year old man actually said. From the BBC:
A student who admitted posting racially offensive comments on Twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba has been jailed for 56 days.
Swansea University student Liam Stacey, 21, from Pontypridd, admitted inciting racial hatred over remarks about the Bolton Wanderers player, who collapsed during a FA Cup tie at Tottenham.
A district judge in Swansea called the comments "vile and abhorrent".
Muamba, 23, who suffered a cardiac arrest, is still in intensive care.
Sentencing Stacey at Swansea Magistrates' Court, District Judge John Charles told him: "In my view, there is no alternative to an immediate prison sentence.
"It was not the football world who was praying for [Muamba].... everybody was praying for his life."
Stacey broke down in tears as he was led away to begin his jail term.
As he passed the public gallery, he was briefly embraced by friends and his parents.
A second year biology student at Swansea, Stacey was arrested after his comments on the social networking site were reported by other users. . . . .
So what was the initial quote:
"LOL. F*** Muamba. He's dead!!! #haha."In response to people being upset Mr. Stacey made two other posts. The second one could be construed as racist, though it wasn't made directly at Mr. Muamba.