Yesterday, we brought you the news of the Bolton Wanderers midfielder who suffered a serious heart attack on the pitch. To their credit, rival Tottenham Spurs fans behaved without any trace of hooliganism. That didn’t translate to Twitter, though. The Guardian:
A student faces jail after admitting posting offensive comments on Twitter about the on-pitch collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba.
Liam Stacey was arrested after his tweets were reported to police by Twitter users from across Britain, including former England striker Stan Collymore.
Stacey, 21, spent Sunday night in custody and was brought before magistrates in Swansea on Monday, where he admitted incitement to racial hatred. He was released on bail on condition that he stayed off Twitter and other social networking sites and will be sentenced next week. Stacey was told he could be jailed.
The swiftness of the arrest demonstrates how seriously police forces are taking the posting of potentially criminal comments on social networking sites by so-called “trolls”.
Bolton Wanderers midfielder Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during his team’s FA Cup sixth round tie at Tottenham on Saturday night.
Lisa Jones, prosecuting, said: “Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and was believed to have died. Shortly after, Stacey posted on Twitter: “LOL, Fuck Muamba. He’s dead.”
Jones said other Twitter users criticised Stacey, prompting him to post a series of other offensive and racist comments.
Swansea magistrates heard that police around Britain had Stacey’s comments reported to them by users including Collymore.
The court heard Stacey tried to claim his account had been hacked. He also tried to delete his page.
The paper reports that Muamba remains in critical but stable condition in hospital.
As far as we know, trolls are still permitted to be online jackasses in the US.
Screenshot of tweet stream from Anorak: