Man, 19, cuffed after burning Remembrance poppy pic is Facebooked
Mass roundup of 4chan users next? #poppycock
A 19-year-old man from Aylesham, near Canterbury in Kent, was arrested last night after a picture of a burning poppy was reportedly posted on Facebook.
The county's cops collared the teenager on suspicion of a committing an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.
"Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday, Sunday, 11 November 2012 and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment," Kent Police said in a brief statement on the arrest.
It is unclear whether the suspect had photographed burning the poppy - a memorial symbol to fallen British Commonwealth soldiers - or if he had simply found the image online and then copied it onto a Facebook page.
Kent Police - which like many other forces across the UK - operates its own Twitter account, and used the social network to defend the arrest when asked if it was a waste of resources. Officers tweeted: "When we receive a complaint we have a duty to investigate."
Many have questioned the cuffing, labelling it as ludicrous and hash-tagging it on Twitter as "poppycock".
Meanwhile, the director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer is drawing up guidelines for prosecutors in dealing with cases of trolling on social media. He has also implied that Twitter, Facebook and similar websites could face regulations to tackle offensive material online before it reaches the courts.
He has sought advice from academics, media lawyers, police, journalists, sports bodies and bloggers on people posting abusive or otherwise potentially illegal comments on websites, after a number of trolls were handed prison sentences.
Starmer said free speech must be preserved, but believes social networks need to do their bit to help prevent, for example, a sustained campaign of abuse conducted on the web.
"Access to social media is ubiquitous and instantaneous. Banter, jokes and offensive comment are commonplace and often spontaneous. Communications intended for a few may reach millions," he said in September. ®
I find it grossly offensive that someone can be arrested for posting a picture of a burning poppy together with some insensitive commentary
His alleged act was offensive to many, but he was simply exercising his right to free speech.
Curtailing that should be even more offensive. (Unless you are a Daily Fail reader of course.)
In fact, I find Kent police's action grossly offensive and as they were communicated to me electronically - can Kent police please arrest themselves?
Re: Over the top
It's a bit sad that you say "please actually learn about things" after spouting a lot of nonsense, some of it rather unpleasant.
The soldiers in WW1 and 2 were conscripted - they fought willingly, but they did not actually have a choice in the end. It's not really the case that both sides sat stupidly starting at each other, throwing lives away, for four years until Germany ran out of food. Try reading something more detailed than Wikipedia on military tactics in WW1.
The Central Powers, especially Germany, were the aggressors in WW1, and had a pretty genocidal approach on the Eastern front - not a lot changed there between WW1 and WW2. Look what Germany did to the Russian prisoners from Tannenberg, or the Austrians did to Serb prisoners, or what the Turks did to the Armenians. Believe me, the UK was on the right side of WW1 too.
Quite aside from your historical inaccuracy, your venom on this subject makes you look like rather unkind.