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Teen Arrested After Sending Abusive Tweets to UK Diver

A teenager in the United Kingdom was this week arrested after he sent abusive messages to an Olympic athlete via Twitter. Great Britain's Tom Daley yesterday tweeted about a malicious message sent to him on Twitter after he and his diving partner came fourth in the 10m platform diving event. The 18-year-old athlete expressed frustration that he was receiving negative messages after having given the competition his all.

"After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this...RT @Rileyy_69: @TomDaley1994 you let your dad down i hope you know that," the diver posted to his Twitter page. Daley's father died last year after a battle with brain cancer. The user behind the tweet, @Rileyy_69 sent several more messages to Tom Daley, telling the young diver that he had let his entire country down and that he hadn't done his best. Rileyy_69 later apologised profusely to Daley, however, having received no response from the Olympian, he reverted to more hateful messages including one that said he hoped Daley would go on to lose the individual event as well.

The BBC today reports that a 17-year-old boy was arrested at a guest house in the Weymouth area on suspicion of malicious communications. Dorset Police say they acted after receiving a report from a member of the public 22:30 BST on Monday but it's not yet clear if the teenager was arrested for the comments made about Tom Daley or any of the subsequent messages sent out to other Twitter users. These included threats of violence against other users and Tom Daley.

According to the Huffington Post, police held the 17-year-old for several hours before releasing him. The teenager was issued a harassment warning and told that detectives would be investigating his other messages and that he may be summoned for further questioning. The @Rileyy_69 Twitter account now appears to have been hacked.

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  • sseyler
    Trolling and sh*t-talking are usually things to be ignored on the internet. However, when it comes to threats, I suppose I agree with a degree of lawful interjection at some point, especially given the fact that many feel they can say (and get away with) almost anything on the interwebz.
    Reply
  • L0tus
    I'm torn on this one. On the one hand we can't police each and every moronic comment that spouts forth from every idiot on the internet.

    On the other hand, if we are to truly call ourselves a civilized species, then some level of decency must be maintained & enforced.

    But perhaps its a matter of capacity. We simply cannot police a public space as large as social media. Idiots and keyboards are both in abundant supply. Indeed I'd wager that the former is now a rather stout majority. In this case, this kid has ADHD, a broken family and over 10 other siblings. Clearly the parents failed at their jobs. Idiots aren't born, they're raised (most of the time). At some point in their dysfunctional upbringing, the act of being a d***head became tolerated.
    Reply
  • monktongaz
    I think it's clear that the troll didn't get arrested for his original comment. He later went on to threaten to drown Tom Daley, and it's this one that got him arrested.

    As a side note, though, prior to his second comment aimed at Tom Daley, he was subjected to several hours of abuse from fans of Tom worldwide. It seems that in modern world, bullying is perfectly acceptable as long as you feel righteous about it and have numbers on your side, and that is as disgusting as the original troll's original comment.
    Reply
  • rantoc
    I have a feeling the kid will get 100 years of prison, if that would been an average joe who got those comments the offender would have laughed as the case would have been dismissed. It is indeed same "justice" for everyone.
    Reply
  • eyemaster
    Some might think that the problem is that we can't police every harassment or threats, but it's more of a society problem. Society has failed to foster and improve itself, it's everybody's job to ensure that their fellow man and women behave with decency.

    We are still animals, but with large brains, our behavior reflects this. Greed, jealousy and envy seems to rule everyone, at one time or another, and we don't want to control ourselves.

    As we fail as a society, we set up an authoritative figure to rule the law, the police.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    Free speech is free speech, even hateful, aweful speech...

    That old children's rhyme comes to mind on this:

    "STICKS AND STONE MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS CAN NEVER HURT ME"...

    To react to trolling is childish in on itself...

    To punish free speech is to open the door to much more sinister punishment, another well known quote comes to mind:

    "GIVE EM' AN INCH, AND THEY TAKE A MILE!"

    This is one reason why the UK is upside down and sinking down the hole as we speak. To take another example: The left wingers of the US, WANT US to be like the UK.... not good, and disastrous, maybe not at first, just like all left wing policies, especially the far left...
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    L0tusI'm torn on this one. On the one hand we can't police each and every moronic comment that spouts forth from every idiot on the internet. On the other hand, if we are to truly call ourselves a civilized species, then some level of decency must be maintained & enforced.But perhaps its a matter of capacity. We simply cannot police a public space as large as social media. Idiots and keyboards are both in abundant supply. Indeed I'd wager that the former is now a rather stout majority. In this case, this kid has ADHD, a broken family and over 10 other siblings. Clearly the parents failed at their jobs. Idiots aren't born, they're raised (most of the time). At some point in their dysfunctional upbringing, the act of being a d***head became tolerated.
    South Korean government has plans of requiring all SK internet users to use an assigned combination of numbers or their real names.

    You can either have civility or privacy over the internet. Not both, unless if humans magically became so enlightened that governments aren't required for society.
    Reply
  • manicmike
    This is all becoming a big talk about politics, but let's put this simply:

    Tom is an Olympic Athlete.
    The Riley person isn't.
    Therefore, said Riley person is neither as skilled of an athlete nor as talented, and therefore has no right to criticize Tom's performance, ibso facto Riley can go "Suck on that"

    As far as gov't involvement, I agree policing for non threatening comments is wrong, but there is a reason that threats are taken seriously by authorities: Either the threatener will make good on said threats, or the threatened will take any and all appropriate actions to protect themselves from said threat.

    Are 9/10 threats empty? Yes, but since we're quoting rhymes we heard as children, "One bad apple spoils the bunch", and one moron wrecks things for the rest of us.

    Edit: Also (at memadmax), My dad died back in '09, and I have 0 tolerance for anyone who doesnt know him smack talking him (face to face, obviously can't really do anything over the net yet). It takes a real coward to talk smack from behind a computer screen, and while Tom may not have won the gold, Riley had no right to lash out in the way that he did.
    Reply
  • Vladislaus
    memadmaxFree speech is free speech, even hateful, aweful speech...That old children's rhyme comes to mind on this:"STICKS AND STONE MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS CAN NEVER HURT ME"...To react to trolling is childish in on itself...To punish free speech is to open the door to much more sinister punishment, another well known quote comes to mind: "GIVE EM' AN INCH, AND THEY TAKE A MILE!"This is one reason why the UK is upside down and sinking down the hole as we speak. To take another example: The left wingers of the US, WANT US to be like the UK.... not good, and disastrous, maybe not at first, just like all left wing policies, especially the far left...Free speech doesn't mean you can say whatever you want. Free in free speech comes from freedom and freedom doesn't give you the right or power to do or say every thing that comes to mind.

    Also another quote comes to mind: "The pen is mightier than the sword"
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    Douche bagimus maximus is the proper term for the offending tweeter.

    Another case of internet anonymity overriding common sense and basic civility. I can assure you this "conversation", if it happened in public, would have likely made a different headline. Something like "Olympic Athlete Pummels Tweeter Into Submission".
    Reply