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back to article Bio student thrown in the clink for Muamba Twitter rant

A Welsh biology student was jailed today for tweeting racist abuse at footballer Fabrice Muamba after the Bolton midfielder collapsed during a match. Liam Stacey, 21, tweeted "LOL **** Muamba. He's dead!!!" as medics tried to revive the 23-year-old player, who had suffered a heart attack during an FA Cup quarter-final match …

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly...

... not a high achieving biology student if he fails to grasp the utter daftness of racism.

Nice to see a nasty troll getting what's due, shame he'll be out within a month.

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Yag
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Trollface

Re: Clearly...

"... not a high achieving biology student if he fails to grasp the utter daftness of racism"

Indeed, he should instead follows the footsteps of great men like nobel-laureate James Dewey Watson...

Wait a minute...

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Re: Clearly...

What "racism"? Unless we're not being told the whole story, there is none. It's like Cartman's Silly Hate Crime but in real life.

So, eight weeks in the slammer for being a bit of a dick on the internet? I dread to think what I deserve by those standards!

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Boffin

Re: Clearly...

Indeed. I wonder if he knows what an F1 hybrid is?

It's my favorite way of upsetting educated racists. To get (say) plants with big red flowers, you selectively breed for such, in several completely separate groups. The trouble is in-breeding. The flowers get bigger and redder, but other recessives make the plants become weak and disease-prone. Then you mix up the groups. The bad recessives are different, and recede. What they all have in common is big and red, and they grow strong and healthy and much bigger and redder than any of their parents.

How does that annoy racists? It's setting the trap. You now get them to agree that in the past, humanity lived in small villages and rarely married outside even a 10-mile radius. (The inbred village idiot was commonplace).

Then you get them to agree that humans with free will direct their own breeding through their choice of partner. What are they choosing for? Strength, beauty. Intelligence? Probably all of those. Universal choices? Also probable. Weak Stupid offspring don't have great chances in the world. (I'll pass on ugly: beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

And once you get them to agree that every village was selecting these traits, offset by inevitable inbreeding, you point out that the industrial revolution increased 10 miles to 100, and that air travel has increased it to span the globe. Interracial marriages are creating human F1 hybrid children. Strong, beautiful, intelligent people.

I can't prove it, but it's far more plausible than the opposite. And racists? the inbred village idiots are still with us. They seek each other out!

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zb

Re: Clearly...

"LOL **** Muamba. He's dead!!!"

That is not even racist, offensive and pathetic yes. Is the El Reg story incomplete or is it racism merely because Muamba is black? Maybe he has an irrational hatred of Bolton or anyone who plays against Tottenham

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Clearly...

We've got several idiots in our village, all Guardian readers as it happens...

Seriously though, isn't it worrying that we now lock people up for calling other people names? What happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"?

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"That is not even racist, offensive and pathetic yes"

...you might want to track down the tweets he made AFTER other twits took him to task. Personally I'd prefer it if the target of his racist comment took him up on the offer to fight - and seriously hurt the pillock - jail will have to do instead.

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Re: Clearly...

"... not a high achieving biology student if he fails to grasp the utter daftness of racism".

Were you ever taught the distinction between "is" and "ought"? Biology is exclusively about "is". Discouragement of racism is purely "ought".

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Re: Clearly...

If they can just suppress the speech of those you disagree with, peace and love will abound.

Why are third-worlders so afraid of freedom?

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Re: Clearly...

Not good enough in a backwards 3rd world country.

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WTF?

Wait, what?

I presume the **** is fuck? If so, where exactly is the "inciting racial hatred" part?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wait, what?

That's how I read it too. Not defending this jerk's behavior, but I didn't catch the racism angle either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wait, what?

This was my first thought from the article but in viewing the said persons twitter feed through the subsequently linked youtube video it seems the tag of 'racist' is appropriately applied. Also in generaly; he just seems to be a vial person.

For those of you who wish to verify this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA5v2eZ5ZZE

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wait, what?

"Vial", eh? Stick him in a bottle. Perhaps "vile"...?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wait, what?

Is it coz I is Welsh?

/ali-g

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Re: Wait, what?

Not how I read it in that context. 4 letters starting with C. No, not the usual C-word. Definitely racist.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow, that was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be

Confirmed - It's the F*** four letter word (F-bomb) we all know, not some obscure racist epithet... which confirms the suspicion that the quote in the article really isn't obviously racist *by itself*.

After all, if we were to arrest every person who had ever dropped a mean-spirited F-bomb about a sports figure in general, or a sports figure of a different race in particular, those stands wouldn't be nearly as crowded would they?

That said, in context of his other tweets, like these little gems in response to other tweeters (is that what they're called?):

- "I aint your friend you w*g c**t ....go pick some cotton"

- "go suck muamba's dead black "d**k and then you aids ridden t***t"

- "owwww go suck a n****r "d**k you f*****g aids ridden c**t"

- "Your mothers a w*g and your dad is a rapist"

...the issue is much less ambiguous. The article really should be more clear about this, because it seems to be his racist comments after that initial comment that are the most damning - not the one quoted. Without the context of his follow on rants the story really doesn't make much sense - or worse, comes across as some sort of knee-jerk overreaction.

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Re: Wait, what?

i think that was a biology jokette

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Meh

@AC posting context

Thanks for that. Yes, it does make things clearer. If one believes that people should be locked up for having opinions (no incitement to anything except contempt for the objectionable chap), then yes, the sentence might be deemed appropriate. Personally, I think the whole concept of thought-crime is wrong, and a real civilisation would not have these laws.

What happened to "I disagree absolutely with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it"?

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Unhappy

What happened to "I disagree absolutely with what you say..."

Those people defended our rights... to the death... now we're just left with the cowards that will put us in prison for any speech they disagree with.

As far as "inciting racial hatred" goes, yep he is a vile racist but as you say, the only incitement I see is contempt... is inciting the contempt of those holding majority belief a crime? According to this judge, it is.

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Re: What happened to "I disagree absolutely with what you say..."

That's OK. The muslims will improve the tolerance level in your country once they take over. Sure they'll burn women to death, but there won't be any intolerance towards muslims.

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Fantastic

Just in case anyone assumes this idiot sent just the one innocent tweet shown in the article, I invite you to view the complete collection someone helpfully created in to a YouTube video :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA5v2eZ5ZZE

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Yag
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Thumb Down

Re: Fantastic

Note that the (very few) racial slurs ("go <vacuum clean> a <rimes with 'eager'> <poultry> you aids ridden <rimes with 'punt>" or "Go pick some cotton") appeared only after the original comment, replying to unknown and probably not-that-nice twits.

Twits for twats, that is.

BTW, I miss the old "anti-twitter" stance of El Reg...

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FAIL

Re: Fantastic

Meh. The account @LiamStacey9 seems to have been axed already. So it isn't visible except by the youtube link.

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FAIL

what ?? freedom of speech ..

well if thats all he said i really don't understand "LOL **** Muamba. He's dead!!!"

if he'd of made a coment about race or color then yes .. but for a lol ? most say worst about those in afganastan ..

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Re: what ?? freedom of speech ..

My thoughts were similar: "he's obviously a complete cock, but how is it racist?" Then I had a look at his other tweets.

From the Metro:

"Stacey - a student at Swansea University - followed this message with several replies to other members of Twitter which were offensive or racist in nature."

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Stop

Racist?

Forgive my lack of worldly knowledge, but I'm finding it difficult to insert a 4 letter word into the '****' to make that tweet racist. "Saes"?

NB, best not to give me a long list of examples, just tell me if it is or isn't possible :/

Even if not racist, it is extremely offensive and he deserves a little time in the clink.

Although, if it was just "Muamba. He's dead!!!", isn't that entirely accurate, given what his doctor then said.

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g e
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WTF?

Him and every football-chant-singing loon on the terraces, then. Or all the football chants polite and complimentary these days?

The South Africans have a pretty unpleasant 4-letter word beginning with M if I remember right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WTF?

"The South Africans have a pretty unpleasant 4-letter word beginning with M if I remember right."

No, I don't recall that one at all, despite growing up there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Racist?

Starts with "c", rhymes with moon, not a very nice word.

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Anonymous Coward

What goes around...

...can bite you in the arse.

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initially...

i thought WTF. but after reading the youtube he really is a horrible person. have fun with those big black guys inside....

they should relocate him to a predominantly black jail and sell tickets :)

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Thumb Down

Re: initially...

So, sitting and watching people throw insults at each other is your idea of fun?* You can't possibly be suggesting that you think he should have illegal physical harm inflicted on him merely for having ideas you don't agree with, can you?

*If so, you must get a lot more pleasure out of coverage of Prime Minister's Question Time than I do.

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As some lighter relief to the racism issue, his heart stopped for 78 minutes and he's still alive and (serious but) stable? Hats off to the medical team. Fingers crossed Muamba pulls through.

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Boffin

Indeed, but note just because his heart could not beat on its own doesn't mean his brain and other organs were deprived of circulation for all that time. As you see, hats off to the medical team, and the biomedical research underpinning what they did to keep him not just alive but not brain dead.

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I suspect that should be "7-8 minutes" and not "78 minutes"!

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nope... it really was well over an hour!

he is lucky he was surrounded by decent medical staff. lots of people have issues like this leaving the gymn and just die.

something like sudden death syndrome. pretty scary stuff!!! glad im a lazy shit!

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Read the Guardian stories

I think they "shocked" him something like 18 (not one to eight, eighteen, (or twelve)) times. It is a bloody miracle he's alive.

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Yag
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Trollface

not brain dead?

I thought he was a football player...

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Stop

Slippery slope..

Quite rightly, this little slimeball has been condemned for his vile, disturbing comments. But what people should be finding more disturbing is that in 21st century Britain people are now being jailed for expressing an opinion. Previously you could only be brought to book if you incited violence but now it seems an opinion that's at odds with the mainstream can earn you a stretch in the clink. How long is it before this is extended to religion or even politics?

Sorry, but I'm with Voltaire on this one.

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Re: Slippery slope..

It does make you think how the "tweets" are classed: expressions of opinion or publication. IIRC you can be done for (racial) abuse no matter where you are. Quite rightly so but you have to be addressing and abusing someone. But incitement to (racial) hatred is a bit of different matter and being a bigoted tosser usually doesn't count. Didn't Blair push something through under the guise of anti-terrorism that basically neutered the right of free speech?

The guy's a knobhead and his exclamations are despicable but I don't think the court's time should be devoted to this. If it is then thought-crimes will be next and then we're all doomed.

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JC_
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Re: Slippery slope..

Going with Voltaire is the purist stance, but it ignores the fact that what people say can hurt deeply, especially when it's intended to. Sure, we can say to ignore it, but that may not be so easy for the victim.

No sympathy for this prick, he deserves what he got.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slippery slope..

"....what people say can hurt deeply"

How can you possibly quantify hurt feelings?

Some people are deeply offended if you tell them you're an Atheist, they take it as a denial of their God. Should all Atheists be jailed for causing "Deep hurt"?

Feelings should never be protected by laws, to do so would allow censorship of almost anything just on the say so of some fragile or manipulative crybaby.

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JC_
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Re: Slippery slope..

So if a child was being bullied at school constantly, to the point of suicide, your reaction would be to say "stop being a crybaby"? Or would you acknowledge that verbal abuse can be just as hurtful as being punched and do something about it?

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Re: Slippery slope..

visit here:

https://twitter.com/#/walken4gop

would you really like this type of thing to be OK over here?

i know its a slippery slope and we cant allow mission creep here (i.e. Atheists being arrested for saying bollocks to religious types etc) but i also think that vile people like that need to be stopped from being able to say what they like.

btw - feel free to send the guy some lovely messages... i did ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slippery slope.. @JC_

Children are considered vulnerable and are therefore rightly under the protection of adults so the bullying would need to be stopped but that's a far different thing from criminalising the bullying children for name calling.

I would rather a world where I defend myself from insults and nobody has the right to go crying to the state to stop me expressing my opinions. You prefer a world where nobody dare say anything controversial in case someone says it gave them sadface resulting in an arrest for the crime of 2nd degree upsetting.

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JC_
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Re: Slippery slope.. @Norfolk

Firstly, it's not only children who harass; in this case, it was done by an adult.

Secondly, it's not only children who are subject to persecution. Gays, blacks, Asians, physically handicapped... the list goes on.

You're clearly being facetious in your second paragraph; it looks like you don't have either the experience or empathy to understand just how vicious people can be and what it can result in.

Think about it: if someone you knew was subject to abuse all day, everyday, would you be happy to do nothing and have nothing done about it? No matter what the consequences?

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Re: Slippery slope..

As a human being, you are responsible for your own actions.

The school bully should be punished through some type on in-school suspension (basically, remove them from the population) and given classes on how to treat others; which their parents have obviously failed at. If it persists, throw them out of the school.

The one being bullied, well, again, we are responsible for our own actions.

The school itself should be receptive to claims of persecution and be willing to take swift action. Of course, they'll have to wade through false claims and use their own judgement. And, as imperfect as that sounds, they'll make some wrong calls.

Regardless, none of this has anything at all to do with some nit making horrible comments via twitter. So what if the guy is a d**k? Government involvement (courts/jail) is completely inappropriate. It's the opinion of one person. Did he actually incite anything other than a backlash against himself? No.

A more appropriate punishment would have been for the university to expel him for bad behavior with a note placed on his file to be sent along with any records requests.

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Re: Slippery slope..

That's not what was said; the comment was "Feelings should never be protected by laws". Of course intervention is necessary in out of control bullying, but that intervention comes from parents and teachers, not the justice system. There's a difference between 'a dickish thing to do' and 'a crime punishable by imprisonment'. If being mean was a crime we'd all be in jail.

Having said that, where do you draw the line? We have harassment laws to deal with people who go out of their way to cause distress and an atmosphere of fear in their victims which does sound a bit like feelings protected by laws.

At the end of the day, the right to say what we want will always clash with the right to feel safe when nutters get involved. We can't scrap one or the other so we'll always have to try and balance them as best we can.

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bep

Re: Slippery slope..

Do what? That's the question. I can't see anybody suggesting racism should be ignored any more that bullying should be, but this guy has been sent to prison. I think a stint of community service, would have been more appropriate, but I'm still not comfortable with people being sanctioned by the law for expressing opinions, even vile ones. When Americans defend free speech they don't mean they'll cheerfully put up with abuse. They respond in kind, using their right to free speech.

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