My fight against the police over ‘transphobic’ tweets

The police have no jurisdiction over our thoughts, but that hasn’t stopped them trying recently. Just over a year ago, a plainclothes officer from Humberside Police turned up at my workplace to ‘check my thinking’ for getting involved in the transgender debate online. An individual had taken offence at something I’d retweeted and reported it as a hate crime.

The crime in question? Well, it was retweeting a silly song lyric that brought the complaint, but the subsequent police investigation found another 30 ‘transphobic’ tweets I’d made. As a former police officer myself, I considered the force’s intrusion to be deeply Orwellian.

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Comedy in the era of Twitter outrage: An interview with Ricky Gervais

[Ricky Gervais] considers ‘hate speech’ to be the invention of those who ‘feel they shouldn’t have to hear something they don’t agree with, and want to complain. They can call the police because someone’s wearing a T-shirt they don’t like. This is actually happening.’

By way of illustration he mentions the recent case of Harry Miller, the ex-policeman who was investigated by Humberside police for retweeting a poem deemed to be transphobic. Miller is currently challenging the police investigation in court. ‘The judge reminded the court that freedom of speech outweighs the right never to hear something you don’t like.’

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