Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Am I Spartacus?

At the weekend there, in the aftermath of Paul Chambers losing his appeal on the #twitterjoke this, there was a great outpouring of something on Twitter, thousands of people retweeting his original 'menacing' tweet about blowing up Nottingham's Robin Hood airport. It was a great show of solidarity.

But something bugged me, there was something that didn't feel right about tweeting
Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!! #IAmSpartacus
Its that bit at the end, appending the hashtag. Its incorrect, just as incorrect as getting the 'may be a joke twibbon'. Its a disclaimer and that's wrong. Twitter shouldn't need such things, the context is inherent to the medium.

Its like if in the original Spartacus scene, the folk joining in stood up and said "I'm Spartacus! Just kidding, I'm not really, you were right the first time". It agrees with the original charge.

If the sentiment you want to express is solidarity then don't undermine it by joking.

The show of solidarity would have been more profound without the #iamspartacus hashtag, and with a wider range of targets being menaced. "I've left a suitcase of explosives in Victoria Station, you have 28 minutes to find it", "A plane will crash in the next seven hours", "I just pushed a man under a train", etc, purposefully tying up so much of the security services' time in investigating 'menacing' messages on twitter, that the authorities would have no choice but to admit they were wrong, that the twitter medium is not to be taken seriously.

I had this similar idea a few months back, the NATO phonetic alphabet thing, Foxtrot, Bravo, November, etc, to do a similar alphabet using terrorist keywords. So, if any authorities are monitoring voice phonecalls, they'd be snowed under with assassinations, bombs, capture, hijackings and so on.

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